B. Michael (Mike) Watson has been officially “installed” as the Resident Bishop of the North Georgia Conference.
At a service Sunday at Dunwoody United Methodist Church, Bishop Watson said the Installation ceremony offered both clergy and laity a “fresh opportunity to recognize our mutual calling to Christian ministry.”
Following are excerpts from his Installation sermon:
Dearly beloved, we are in this Christian ministry together…. We are all, each of us, minsters of the gospel of Jesus Christ….
All of us are being installed…. We all are ambassadors of Jesus Christ…. God has called us! God has set us apart! God would use us to [let every person] on this earth know how much God loves him or her….
The task that looms before us…is too large for us to assume on our own, for we are all dependent on the power of God and the gift of the Holy Spirit. I may not be up to the task on my own — but our Lord is up to the task, and it our Lord we serve!…
If we are to do all that God calls us to do, if we are to run the race, we must look to Jesus Christ, the perfecter of the faith. We must follow Christ if we are to love the world. We must follow Christ if we are to transform the world. We must follow Christ if we are to reconcile the world in love….
I pledge my sincerest effort and fidelity to the task before us. And I ask each one of you to examine your heart and to reaffirm your calling. What is God calling you to do?….
What is your ministry? I am being installed to this one. You’re being installed to one, too. Will you accept that, as I accept this?
Bishop Watson recently was assigned to the North Georgia Conference after serving eight years as the bishop of the South Georgia area. He fills the position held for 12 years by Bishop Lindsey Davis, who has now been sent to lead the Kentucky Conference and the Red Bird Missionary Conference.
Mike Waston was elected a bishop in 2000, after serving ten years as the senior pastor at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama. Prior to that, he was the founding pastor of Covenant UMC in Dothan, Alabama, where he served from 1979-1990.
In the early 1970s, he served briefly as the minister of evangelism at North Georgia’s Decatur First UMC while working on his Master of Divinity degree at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Mike Watson earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at Vanderbilt University in 1975, and later was ordained an Elder in the Alabama-West Florida Conference.
More of his biography is here.
You can use the audio player below to listen to streaming audio of Bishop Mike Watson’s Installation sermon (27 min.) — or download an mp3 (6.3MB).
Several short video clips and still photographs are posted here.
Streaming video of the entire service is below (74 min.).