BETHANY, W.Va. ⁠— Bethany Memorial Christian Church is excited to announce the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins will serve as its next pastor and fill the pulpit established by the Rev. Alexander Campbell in 1831.

Dr. Watkins previously held the Office of General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. She is an inspirational preacher, teacher and facilitator who has considerable experience in a variety of ecumenical settings.

She is concluding her role as Director of the Truth and Racial Justice Initiative of the National Council of Churches (U.S.) as well as interim minister of First Christian Church in Weirton, W.Va. She serves on the Boards of Friendship Press and Christian Theological Seminary.

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 a graduate of Shortridge High School in Indianapolis. She has been awarded numerous honorary doctorate degrees.

Watkins enjoys bike riding and time for personal reflection. She makes it a practice to take a full day of Sabbath each week. She is married to the Rev. Dr. Rick Lowery, President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Bible at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Ky. They have two adult children, Bethany Lowery (married to Joe Zielinski) and Christopher Lowery.