Nearly 100 family members and friends gathered at the St. Andrew Church of God Fellowship Hall on Red Hill Road in Camden, recently to honor Rev. Coleman Marion and Cynthia Hancock Watkins of Lee County’s Spring Hill community for their 50th wedding anniversary.
The couple’s three children and their families gave the surprise drop-in and reception on Saturday afternoon, April 19. The date also marked Rev. Watkins’ 70th birthday.
The couple was married on April 11, 1964, at St. John United Methodist Church in the Spring Hill community by the late Rev. Reed Griffis. Members of the original wedding party attending the drop-in included the couple’s matron of honor, and one of Cynthia’s sisters, Mrs. Jack (Sarah Hancock) Ratterree of Charlotte, N.C.; best man, George Watkins of Rembert, one of Marion’s brothers; and flower girl, Mrs. John (Sharmin Barnes) Hill of Columbia, a niece of Cynthia, formerly of Camden. One of Marion’s nephews, Mike Watkins of Bishopville, was also recognized as a child who attended the wedding.
Rev. Watkins is a son of the late Robert Leon and Tincy Steen Watkins of Bishopville, and Cynthia is a daughter of the late Carlton Raymond and Janie DuRant Hancock of Spring Hill. The couple has three children, along with spouses: Dr. Raymond (Michelle) Watkins of Spring Hill; Mrs. Jennifer (Steve) Farmer of Spring Hill; and Mrs. Loretta (Fred) Wrigley of Chapin; and nine grandchildren.
Guests enjoyed a reception after which the couple’s son, Dr. Watkins, presided over a program featuring mailed greetings from U.S. President and Mrs. Barak Obama; a prayer of blessing for the couple by Rev. William Allen of Elgin, Southern Methodist pastor and family friend; a multimedia presentation of photos highlighting the couple and their family from childhood to the present, created by granddaughter Miranda Farmer, grandson Andrew Cole, and Dr. Watkins; and a musical tribute from Lee County native and family friend Rev. Lawrence Chewning, Christian songwriter, recording artist and speaker, of Florence.
Rev. Watkins has pastored Zion Southern Methodist Church in Mullins for almost 27 years, where he and Cynthia are involved in ministry.