Eric Watkins grew up in a non-Christian military home in North Carolina. His teenage years were dark and dangerous, clearly preserved by the grace of God. He came to Christ at age 21, ironically while following the Grateful Dead around the country. At the end of a long, strange trip, someone gave him a Bible to read, and in the pages of Scripture,he met the Lord Jesus Christ, who convicted him of his sins and comforted him with the gospel of grace. This began the hard process of learning how to read the Bible and how to live what it teaches—a process which ultimately led to falling in love with the Reformed faith.
Since becoming a Christian, Pastor Eric has been a life-long student. His first degree is an A.A. in Therapeutic Recreation. He received his B.S. in Biblical Studies from Southeastern Bible College. He became curious about the biblical languages and the Reformed faith in Bible College, and thus continued on to Westminster Theological Seminary in California where he earned his Master of Divinity (with a counseling minor). Questions related to church history led him to pursue a ThM in Reformation studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. In May of 2016, he graduated with a PhD in Homiletics (preaching) from the Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands.
He is the author of a book on Preaching Christ from the OT in a Postmodern context,entitled The Drama of Preaching, Participating with God in the History of Redemption.
Pastor Eric has been a minister in the OPC since 2001, following a year-long internship at Harvest OPC in Vista, CA. He was first an associate pastor and then a church planter in Orlando, FL. He came to Saint Augustine to plant Covenant Presbyterian Church in late 2007.
Pastor Eric strongly believes in preaching Christ from all of Scripture for all of life, and is passionate about evangelism, discipleship, and the beauty of Reformed worship. He hopes to be at CPC for a long time, and rejoices at the great work that God is doing in the church.
God has given Pastor Eric a wonderful wife in Heather. They were married in 1996 and spent their honeymoon here in St. Augustine. They now have three delightful children, Kirra, Carl, and Liam. Eric’s mother Neda also lives with the family. The Watkins are hoping to adopt more children in the near future.
Pastor Eric’s pastimes are surfing, beach volleyball, and playing guitar; but above all, he loves being with his family.