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Leadership

Watkins says that his greatest spiritual passion is living and enabling the challenge of Acts 1:8, which states, “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.”

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Watkins graduated from Danville High School in Iowa, and then the lifelong Cumberland Presbyterian made the journey from Iowa to McKenzie, Tennessee, to attend Bethel College. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bethel in 1967, followed by Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Vanderbilt University.

Watkins served as a missionary in Costa Rica and Colombia, South America, for eight years. He also served as Director of Global Missions for the denominational Missions Ministry Team of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church from 1991 through 2012. He has also served on the Bethel University Board of Trustees and was recognized as one of the University’s 100 most distinguished alumni at its 150th anniversary in 1992.

Watkins has pastored churches in Louisville, Kentucky; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Camden, Tennessee; and Armenia, Colombia. His career has given him the opportunity to network with a majority of the Cumberland Presbyterian congregations around the world.

Watkins has written numerous books, including God’s Mighty Acts around the Globe, Chasing Rainbows, Obedience: A Personal Choice, and Fields. He is also a talented artist who depicts Biblical scenes and concepts through sculptures, primarily made of carved stones. Recently, Watkins spearheaded the Wall of Faith campaign for Bethel University and has come on staff as the University’s church relations officer.

Watkins says that his greatest spiritual passion is living and enabling the challenge of Acts 1:8, which states, “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.”

Watkins is married to his wife, Marji. They have five children and eleven grandchildren.

President's Office Staff

Dr. Robert "Bob" Watkins
Interim President of Bethel University
(731) 352-6405
watkinsb@bethelu.edu

Vicky Williams
Executive Assistant to the President

(731) 352-6405
williamsv@bethelu.edu

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