Sat, 27 October 2012
We experienced technical difficulties with sound both during this program and also at the end when we lost the last few minutes of this interview. I apologize in advance.
Reverend Percy Happy Watkins was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 4, 1942. He graduated from Bronx Vocational High School in June of 1961 and entered the United States Air Force in August of that year. After basic training, he was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, arriving in Spokane on October 7, 1961. He served active duty at Fairchild Air Force Base and also in Okinawa, from August 1961 until he was discharged on July 25, 1965, and then served two additional years in the reserves. He married his wife Etta in 1963 and raised his four sons in Spokane where he became the pastor of New Hope Baptist in February of 1990, where he still proudly serves.
Happy is also widely known for his powerful rendition of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, which he delivers annually at Spokane's King Day Parade, as well as at other venues throughout the region. He has also recently come into public view and has stirred up controvery as an African American Baptist minister who has come out in support of Washington State's Referendum 74, supporting the freedom for gay and lesbian individuals to marry, as well as the Marijauna Initiative, both on the Nov. ballot.
We discussed Pastor Watkins' spiritual journey and there were two young adults, Renika Williams and Dyondre Hicks who joined in on the conversation to talk about their views on religion and spirituality. This program originally aired on 10/22/12.