PRESS RELEASE from Presidential
Sunday, January 11, 2009
|Contact: PIC Communications
Reverend Dr. Sharon E. Watkins,
General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of
Christ) Selected to Give Sermon at the National Prayer Service
Washington, D.C. - The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced today
that General Minister and President Dr. Sharon E. Watkins of the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been selected to give the
sermon at the National Prayer Service on Wednesday, January 21st.
The National Prayer Service will be held at the National Cathedral at
the conclusion of Inaugural activities and will celebrate America's
diversity of faith. Reverend Dr. Sharon Watkins will be the first
woman to deliver the sermon at this traditional Inaugural event.
"I am truly honored to speak at this historic occasion," said Reverend
Watkins. "My prayer when I preach is always that God will use me to
bring a Gospel message that is uplifting and appropriately challenging
to those who hear it. I hope that my message will call us to
believe in something bigger than ourselves and remind us to reach out
to all of our neighbors to build communities of possibility."
Reverend Dr. Sharon E. Watkins has served as General Minister and
President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United
States and Canada since 2005. She is the first woman to hold this
position. As General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples
of Christ), she is the general pastor of the 700,000-member
denomination. As General President, she is the chief executive
officer for the denomination, responsible for overseeing the work of
the church's various structures. She is serving a six-year term
that extends through 2011.
Dr. Watkins has an extensive background of service both in this country
and abroad. She is a member of the Central Committee of the World
Council of Churches based in Geneva, and serves on the WCC's Permanent
Committee for Consensus and Collaboration. In 2006, she was a
representative at the World Council's General Assembly in Porto Alegre,
Brazil. She is the former pastor of Disciples Christian Church in
Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where she served for eight years.
Reverend Watkins holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Phillips
Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from the Yale Divinity
School, and a Bachelor's Degree in French and Economics from Butler
University. She is married to Reverend Dr. Richard (Rick)
H. Lowery, Interim Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at
Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky. They have
two children, Bethany and Christopher.
The National Prayer Service, a tradition dating back to George
Washington, will include prayers, readings and hymns delivered by
religious leaders spanning a diverse array of faiths. More
information about the event will be
For the latest information on the 2009 Presidential Inauguration,
please visit www.pic2009.org.