Insight News

Feb 11th

Community celebrates life of Bishop William A. Watson, III

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bishop william aThe Twin Cities lost a prominent member of its religious community on June 27 when Bishop William A. Watson, III of Revelation Christian Center International passed away unexpectedly. He was 53.

Bishop Watson was born on April 14, 1960 in Banning, Calif. to William A. Watson, Jr. and Ruth McGriff Watson. He grew up in San Bernardino, Calif., graduating from Pacific High School in 1978. Bishop Watson attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he graduated in 1982 with degrees in political science and criminal justice.

Upon graduation, Bishop Watson entered the field of law enforcement, becoming a Special Agent in the U.S. Secret Service, and served as director of security services at various colleges and universities, including the Claremont Colleges, Bethel University and the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics.

Bishop Watson was called to the ministry at the age of 11, and baptized his first believer at the age of eight. From there, his ministerial path included postgraduate studies at Eastern Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Bethel Seminary and ministerial appointments as youth minister, Temple Baptist Church in San Bernardino; associate pastor, Omega Industries in Philadelphia; associate minister, Sunshine Missionary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.; youth pastor, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Pomona, Calif.; and associate pastor, Bethesda Baptist Church in San Bernardino. Bishop Watson later joined Macedonia Baptist Church in Minneapolis as an associate minister, and became its senior pastor in 1995.

In December of 2006, Bishop Watson left Macedonia, becoming founder and senior pastor of Revelation Christian Center, International, in St. Paul, as well as Apolistic Overseer of New Genesis Baptist Church in Minneapolis and Fruit of the Spirit Christian Center in Costa Rica.

Calling himself "an urban pastor," whose "heart beats to the rhythm of the inner-city," Bishop Watson was always an involved member of the Twin Cities community, serving as a board member or volunteer with organizations including the Illusion Theater, Habitat for Humanity, AMICUS, ReArmor Homes, Phyllis Wheatley Community Center and the Minnesota Council on Black Minnesotans.

Bishop Watson was a voracious reader who loved good coffee, watching Saturday morning cartoons, adding to his collections of watches and African artifacts, listening to Car Talk on Minnesota Public Radio and collecting comic books. Bishop Watson also enjoyed good pipe tobacco, fine cigars, and great conversation at The Perfect Ash.

The bishop is preceded in death by parents. He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Carthen Watson – a junior at Northwestern University in Chicago, siblings Julius and Satyra Watson, his uncle, the Reverend William Davis, and several nieces, nephews and godchildren. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and the Twin Cities community.

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