Please join us in welcoming our new Pastor!
Brad Watkins, II, will be appointed to United Methodist Church of Elmwood as of July 1, 2013. He was born in Lexington Kentucky, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan, and Peoria, Illinois. He is the son of Ann and Brad Watkins, who retired from the active United Methodist ministry from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. Brad is the product of Wiley College, Marshall, Texas and Gammon Theological Seminary/I.T.C., Atlanta, Georgia and currently working on a doctor of Ministry Degree at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga.
Brad brings a passion for transformational and community based ministry to Elmwood, IL. He has served in several churches such as Grace UMC in Decatur, IL and Wesley-Bethel UMC (now named Trinity UMC) and also a full service community center, which is sponsored by The United Methodist Women (Lessie-Bates Davis Neighborhood House) in East St. Louis, Illinois for eleven years. His service through churches in Bloomington (Evangelical and West Olive UMCís); and Champaign-Urbana (The Wesley Foundation and Church) were instrumental in inspiring his belief that Christian congregations should be representative of their surrounding community and positive community partners in the uplift of all facets of those communities.
Bradís wife Debbie was raised and educated in Jackson, Tennessee. She has an extensive background with speaking words of hope and purpose into the lives of children and youth both as an educator and spiritual guide. They have four adult sons and have parented many young people in more than twenty years as licensed specialized foster parents.
Brad looks forward to sharing his experience of leading and nurturing in Elmwood, through Elmwood United Methodist Church. He has served in roles as a pastor, counselor, community service provider, educator, youth advocate, and public relations representative. He is excited to have the opportunity to join the people of this congregation as we live out Godís mission for us.