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Tom Collins To Be Honored At Weems Baskin Relays

March 17, 2006

Former University of South Carolina track & field standout Tom Collins will be honored at the annual Weems Baskin Relays this weekend. Collins will be introduced to the crowd at noon on Saturday.

Collins, a native of Mullins, S.C., attended the University of South Carolina from 1952 - 1956. He lettered in both basketball and track, and was a participant in the first ACC Basketball Tournament game for the Gamecocks in 1954 against Wake Forest.

As a member of the track & field team under Coach Weems Baskin, Collins competed in three events - the shot put, discus and high jump. In both 1955 and '56, Collins medaled in the high jump and discus events at the South Carolina Intercollegiates and the ACC Championships, earning first place in the high jump at both meets in 1956.

Following graduation from the University in 1956, Collins received theological training from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky. and Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He served as a Navy chaplain for seven years, volunteering for a 13-month tour of duty with the Marines in Vietnam in 1966-67. After receiving an honorable discharge as Lt. Commander in the Navy, he served 40 years as a Baptist minister in North Carolina and South Carolina. Among his pastorates are First Baptist Church, Edgefield, S.C., First Baptist Church, Bishopville, S.C. and Godwin Heights Baptist Church in Lumberton, N.C.

The Reverend John Thomas Collins is currently retired and resides with his wife, Betty, in Lumberton, N.C.



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