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Wrong Dion Watkins?

Dion J. Watkins

Senior Pastor

Mount Olive Church Ministries

HQ Phone:  (860) 549-3935


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Mount Olive Church Ministries

20 Battles Street

Hartford, Connecticut,06120

United States

Web References(9 Total References)

Mount Olive Church Ministries - Ministerial Staff [cached]

Rev. Dion J. Watkins, Senior Pastor

Dion Watkins , GM

Reverend Dion J. Watkins is a native of Lackawanna, New York.
Reverend Watkins is a man of God that has been led at an early age to motivate and inspire generations of people. He accepted Christ at the age of 16, and was a faithful member of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in the City of Lackawanna, New York where he was very active in many ministry activities while growing up in Mount Olive. Reverend Watkins graduated from Lackawanna Senior High School in 1997. He then continued his education at Canisius College where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 2001. He furthered his education at Canisius College by obtaining a Master's of Science Degree with a concentration in Reading Education in 2003. After several years of serving as pastor of his church, he returned to school to receive his Master's of Divinity Degree in December 2007 at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, New York. Reverend Watkins is such a strong believer of scholastic achievement that with each degree he graduated with honors. Reverend Dion Watkins was employed in 2001 by the Lackawanna City School District where he served as a sixth grade teacher for nearly 13 years until taking a leave of absence on December 31, 2013 to pursue full-time ministry. His friendly disposition and understanding of others was what allowed him to be effective in his classroom and beloved by his students. In addition, the Lackawanna City School District honored Reverend Watkins by inducting him into its prestigious High School Wall of Fame in June of 2010. Reverend Watkins was called into the ministry in 1997 at the age of 17. At the young age of 21 years old, he made history as he became the first associate minister to become pastor of his home church when he was installed as the Pastor of the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Lackawanna, NY on April 29, 2001. Reverend Watkins was a blessing to Mt. Olive as well as the Lackawanna community. During his leadership, the membership grew considerably, especially the youth membership. As part of Pastor Watkins' vision, many effective new ministries had been started. In June 2011, Rev. Watkins and his church expanded their church services to Revelation Baptist Church of Buffalo, New York making it a satellite location for their 8:00 a.m. worship service. Mount Olive became one church in two cities. Reverend Dion J. Watkins is no stranger to public service. In the summer of 2011, Rev. Watkins ran a great campaign for Mayor of the City of Lackawanna. After a marginal loss (14 votes) in the primaries, he promoted a write-in campaign. Although he did not win this seat, he offered hope to residents and encouraged many to vote who had never voted in their lifetime. In 2013, the Holy Spirit would shift Reverend Watkins' life in a new direction, as he relocated to the Hartford, Connecticut area and accepted the call as pastor of the historic Mount Olive Church Ministries. Under the leadership of Pastor Watkins, in only a short period of time, many have joined the Mount Olive Church Ministries family.

Candidates Geoffrey M. Szymanski, left, and Dion J. Watkins were celebrating at their campaign headquarters Tuesday night.
Teacher, pastor and political neophyte Dion J. Watkins rocked the Lackawanna political establishment Tuesday by polling to within a single vote of Second Ward Councilman Geoffrey M. Szymanski, the Lackawanna Democratic committee's endorsed candidate for mayor. An unofficial tally by the Erie County Board of Elections had Szymanski leading Watkins by 1,468 to 1,467 votes. "I said it would be an election night like none other," Watkins said. "By no means is it over yet, but I'm done," said Jaworski, the City Council president, who was expected more than Watkins to give Szymanski a strong challenge. Some Szymanski supporters said late Tuesday they received word that Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and Grassroots, a political group from Buffalo's East Side, had a hand in rallying voters from Lackawanna's First Ward, which has a large African-American population, to vote for Watkins, who is black. But Watkins, 31, said the Buffalo mayor was not involved in his campaign. "There were some Grassroots people who reached out to us," he said. Watkins, who aside from being voted president of the Lackawanna senior class of 1997 hasn't sought elective office, is pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in the First Ward. He's spent 11 years as a teacher in the Lackawanna School District. Dion Watkins is an intelligent and very influential man. Why is it that there is references made to his race in the article? Yes he is Black, educated and qualified to be mayor of Lackawanna. And furthermore the citizens of the first ward whether Black, White, Hispanic, Arabic etc are very familiar with Dion Watkins we KNOW him to be a man of integrity so therefore there wouldn't be a need for anyone to come out and rally voters on his behalf. He's done that himself through his his everyday interactions with the people he comes in contact with no matter their race!! Whether Watkins is Black, White or Purple the focus should have been on the fact that he was so influential that he was able to generate such a voter turnout from the first ward. Does it matter that they were African American, all that should have mattered was they voted. Every time there is an election there is always a call for voters to come out. But now since this young "Black" man (which is continually pointed out) was able to generate these kinds of numbers, he had to have help. When this is all said and done, Mr. Watkins will be the new Mayor of the City of Lackawanna and the much needed changes will be done. Why would Lackawanna want to elect Watkins for Mayor. He lives in Hanburg, NY!

"This is a race like no other," said Dion J. Watkins, a sixth-grade teacher making his first bid for public office.
Watkins, who is also pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, is squaring off against another political newcomer, Patrick A. McCusker, who runs his own tax prep firm, and two seasoned veterans of the City Council - Chuck Jaworski, the current Council president, and Geoffrey M. Szymanski, who represents the 2nd Ward. Watkins served as president of the 1997 senior class of Lackawanna High School and captain of the varsity football team and is now in his 11th year as a teacher in the Lackawanna School District. Watkins said he plans to be a mayor for all the citizens of Lackawanna, not just the politically connected. "Certainly the quality of life has to improve in Lackawanna," he said. "A lot of people have felt they haven't had a say." Watkins pledged to make the best hires, regardless of politics. "There's been a lot of political moves and nepotism, instead of putting the most qualified people in office to move the city forward," he said. He pointed to his lack of political baggage as a plus over the other candidates. Watkins has significant support from the 1st Ward, where his church is located. But he said he will not mix politics and religion. "You have to separate the two, but one thing you have to have in both is integrity," he said.

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