Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins is a former General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada, where she served from 2005 to 2017. She is an inspirational preacher, teacher, and facilitator who shares her considerable skills in a variety of religious and ecumenical settings. As General Minister, she served as general pastor of the 700,000-member denomination, responsible for representing the wholeness of the church, for reconciling differences, and for helping the church retain its clarity of mission and identity. As General President, she worked as the chief executive officer for the denomination, responsible for overseeing the work of the church’s various structures.
Dr. Watkins has been regarded in the ecumenical world as “head of communion” and as the chief representative of the church in national and world ecumenical councils. She has also served on the National Council of Church’s governing board, based in New York City, and is a board member of Sojourners, a Washington, D.C. based group, which seeks to build a movement that puts faith to work for justice. At the invitation of then President-Elect Barack Obama, Dr. Watkins preached at the National Prayer Service in Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2009, the day after his inauguration. She also served a term on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.