By Ayesha K. Mustafaa
On Sunday, March 10, The Crossroads Church of God celebrated the anniversary of 80 years of ministry for Rev. Ozie G. Wattleton, who began preaching at the age of 17 in Farmhaven, Miss., where she has retired.
“I grew up in and under the Word of God and never veered from it,” said Wattleton. And at the age of 97, she delivered what she called her last sermon titled “Tell Them….” Sunday, March 10.
When pressed about calling this her last sermon, Wattleton said, “It is my last sermon topic. It will take quite some time for it to be fully delivered.” She said God was urging on her to “tell them the things they must do
in these last days.”
During the anniversary celebration, the program committee selected some of her favorite old Church of God songs for the morning service. Reflections were delivered by Sis. Annie Dotson, Rev. Jerri Bomgardner and her nieces Minnie Garrett, Oleta Fitzgerald and Ayesha K. Mustafaa.
Crossroads’ Pastor Simeon Green III read congratulatory letters from her daughter Faye Wattleton; Dr. James Earl Massey, dean emeritus and distinguished professor-at-large, Anderson University School of Theology; Dr. Edward Foggs, general secretary emeritus, Church of God Ministries, Anderson, Ind.; Rev. David Hall, state minister, Mississippi Church of God and Rev. Duane Parker, chairperson, Mississippi Ministries Board of Elders. He acknowledged many more cards, letters and poems too numerous to read. Pastor Green then surprised her with a rendition of ‘Oh How I Love Jesus’ on his harmonica.
Some of Wattleton’s pastorships have included the Farmhaven Church of God (Crossroads) in Mississippi; the Oak Grove Church of God in Oak Grove, La.; First Church of God in Columbus, Neb.; Washington Courthouse Church of God in Cleveland, Ohio; and East Atlanta Church of God in Decatur, Ga.
Add to that the number of congregations, camp meetings and revivals she has evangelized during her 80 years in the ministry and you will begin to see how broad her influence has been in the Church of God Reformation movement.