The Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president, offered the opening acclamation for the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service for President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Watkins was the preacher for Obama's first inaugural prayer service, joined by the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale of Georgia providing the invocation. Hale also participated again this year with a Hebrew Testament reading at the pre-inaugural church service at St. John's on Monday morning.
Another Disciple, Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary in New York, joined in the prayers for the nation in this year’s celebration.
Watkins is a native of Indiana, graduating from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis. She holds an undergraduate degree from Butler University, a master of divinity from Yale Divinity School and PhD from Phillips Theological Seminary. Watkins was called to the general church from a pastorate in Bartlesville, Okla. She is married to the Rev. Dr. Richard (Rick) Lowery, a well-known Hebrew testament scholar.