Dr. Aulton Douglas Watterson Jr.

October 25, 1927March 14, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

Dr. Aulton Douglas Watterson, Jr., 92, of Vero Beach, FL died March 14, 2020.

Dr. Watterson was born on October 25, 1927 in Decatur, AL to Aulton Douglas Watterson, Sr. and Eva Rose Couch Watterson. He grew up in Decatur and Birmingham, AL. He served as a radioman in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1948 on the destroyer USS Putnam DD-757.

Dr. Watterson earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1957 and Master’s of Theology degree 1958 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, a Master’s degree in English from the University of Louisville in 1958, a Doctor of Divinity degree from Stetson University in 1971, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX in 1976.

During his 57-year ministry, Dr. Watterson served as pastor of eight churches, beginning in 1950 at Fellowship Baptist Church in Ettrick, VA. Subsequent pastorates included West Point Baptist Church, West Point, KY; First Baptist Church, Marianna, FL; First Baptist Church, Vero Beach, FL; First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, FL; Cliff Temple Baptist Church, Dallas, TX; First Baptist Church, Knoxville, TN; and North Stuart Baptist Church, Stuart, FL, from which he retired in 2011.

In the summer of 1950, Dr. Watterson was invited to preach his first revival, with morning and evening services, in Cleara, AL. Others included local revivals in Kentucky and Florida in the 1950s and 1960s and participation as one of 13,000 delegates to the Tenth Baptist World Congress in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dr. Watterson held several major denominational offices, including President of the Florida Baptist Convention from 1970 to 1971, Chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention Committee on Order of Business, Chairman of the SBC Christian Life Commission, and First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1978 to 1979. In 1990 and 1991, Dr. Watterson was instrumental in the founding of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Dr. Watterson was known as Doug, Dad, Daddy, Granddaddy and Papa. He was always the strong shoulder and compass for his children and grandchildren. He will be remembered for his family-time water skiing, fishing, golfing, fixing all things broken, working on cars and boats, playing basketball in the driveway, and his love of literature and poetry. But most of all, he will be remembered for his love of laughter. In more secular pursuits, Dr. Watterson was a pilot of single engine airplanes in the 1970s and 1980s, and was a fan of the Atlanta Braves and Dallas Cowboys.

Dr. Watterson often concluded his services with a summary of his beliefs: “This is My Father's World. I Am My Father's Child. My Father Loves Me. My Father Taught Me To Love other People. In Everything, God is At Work for My Good.”

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Janet Francine Woolwine Watterson; his children Debbie Hammock (Richard), David Watterson (Kathie), and Sheri Whitney (Brooks); grandchildren Brittany Walters (Chris), Lauren Sibayan (Mark), Lindsey Richardson, Kelli Shahrokh (Bahram), David Watterson, Taylor Watterson; great grandchildren Christian Walters and Carter Walters; and sister Sandra Dunkle (Ric).

Dr. Watterson was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother, Dr. Gene Lee Watterson.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on March 20, 2020 at the First Baptist Church, Vero Beach, FL with Dr. James Graves and Dr. Joe LaGuardia officiating. Graveside services will be private to the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Watterson family.


  • Funeral Service

    Friday, March 20, 2020


Dr. Aulton Douglas Watterson Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Enfinger Massengill

May 29, 2020

Rev. Watterson baptized me in 1965 at First Baptist in Marianna, Florida.

Dave Aders

April 26, 2020

In my darkest hour, Dr Watterson was there. He remained there to console and help guide me. With a caring way; somehow
understanding what I was enduring. Lending a warm smile and cordial manner. Just the sound of his voice would calm the storm. When the storm subsided he became a special mentor I could always talk to and treasure his fellowship.

What a magnificent Human Being to walk this Earth helping others in need. I loved this Man. My son Josh, loved this Man.
What a loss of rare integrity and honor.
A True Man Of The Lord !!

International Captain DG Aders / AAL - Rt
Sevierville, TN

Shuford Davis

March 22, 2020

Doug was a life changing mentor to a young minister fresh out of seminary. The country was struggling with racism and Sunday at 11:00 am was the most segregated hour in America. Many invitations began with, "The ground is level at the foot of the cross." The Viet Nam war brought college protestors to the front steps of the church. He modeled Christ-like patience and love through turbulent times in our city. He asked us continually, "Who is a Christian? What is the church?"
Faye and I are forever grateful for the love Doug, Jan and the children gave to us.

Bryan Trubey

March 19, 2020

Wonderful memories of Doug Watterson’s time at Cliff Temple in Dallas. It was a pivotal time for our church family and there were many great times growing up together in the youth group with Sheri, David and Debbie. Did not realize your Dad was born the same year as mine who just went to be with our Savior two months ago. It is wonderful seeing all the pictures of how your family has grown over the many years since we were all together. Blessings and the comfort only He can provide to all of you!

Bryan Trubey

Joan Watterson

March 18, 2020

I remember the fun times we had when telling stories of childhood memories!! Don spent many summers visiting his cousins Gene and Doug and later spent a year in college as roommates!! All three became preachers!! Little Eve,Doug’sMom, was most responsible for their spiritual leadership and successfulnesses!!!! What a wonderful day of joyful reunions today!!! My prayers are with you!! Mts.Don Watterson

Jerry Hatley

March 17, 2020

My prayers go out to all the family. No matter how strong our faith it’s always difficult to loose one we love. Especially someone like Dr. Watterson. He is someone we can truly say “Lived the Dash”.
May he Rest In Peace and may the family find comfort in knowing he is with his Father in Heaven.

james wright

March 17, 2020

Dr. Watterson was a wonderful and dynamic pastor - Boy could he preach! He had a smile and a twinkle in his eye when he spoke to you. You could tell he cared- and that you were important to him when you spoke to him.