Effective September 1, 2016, Bishop B. Michael Watson commenced his four-year term as Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops. Bishop Watson will lead the Council of Bishops ecumenical staff working on global, national, and local levels to promote interfaith relations and build communities that seek peace and unity.

Watson was elected to the episcopacy by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2000 and was assigned to the South Georgia Area where he served until 2008 when he was assigned to the North Georgia Area from which he retired earlier this year.

In May of this year, Watson traveled to Rome for the official opening of the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome which provides education programs that promote worldwide communion. The dedication for the Methodist Ecumenical Office, located directly across from St. Peter’s Basilica, took place at the Methodist Church at Ponte Sant’Angelo. Pope Francis met with Watson and other members of the World Methodist Council, the Methodist Council of Europe, and the Methodist Church in Britain. Pope Francis presented Watson with a medallion and two books and asked Watson to pray for him as they bid farewell.

Watson is a member of the World Methodist Council and was elected earlier this month as its Parliamentarian at the 2016 World Methodist Conference in Houston, TX.

We welcome Bishop Watson and look forward to his leadership steering global work for ecumenism and Christian unity on behalf of The United Methodist Church.