B. Michael Watson

Bishop B. Michael Watson


United States

Southeastern Jurisdiction


Bishop B. Michael Watson is a Retired Bishop in The United Methodist Church, having served from 2000-2016. He previously served as the Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops from 2016-2020.

He was born into an active Methodist family in Dothan, Alabama. After graduating from Dothan High School, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and real estate from The University of Alabama, a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University's Candler School of Theology, and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Vanderbilt University. He was ordained deacon by Bishop W. Kenneth Goodson and elder by Bishop Carl J. Sanders.

As a member of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, Mike Watson served as pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Molino, Florida, and as pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Milton, Florida. He was appointed to start a new congregation in his hometown, where he served as founding pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church from 1979-1990. From 1990 until his election to the episcopacy in 2000, he served as the pastor of Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama.

Dr. Watson also served as president of the Mobile County School Board, which is the largest school system in the state of Alabama with more than 66,000 students and nearly 8,000 employees. He served as chairperson of his conference Board of Ordained Ministry, chairperson of the conference Three-year Covenant Community for Spiritual Formation, chairperson of the steering committee of the Southeastern Jurisdiction's larger church consultation, a member of the Emmaus Community, a trustee of several colleges, a member of Emory University's Clergy Advisory Council, president of two civic clubs, president of The University of Alabama alumni chapter, president of the ministerial union, board member of the United Way, Boys Club, Girl Scouts, Red Cross, and Inner City Mission.

A delegate to World Methodist Conferences in Singapore (1991) and Brazil (1996), he is currently a member of the World Methodist Council and a member of the United Methodist National Youth Ministry Organization.

Benjamin Michael Watson was elected to the episcopacy by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2000 and was assigned to the South Georgia Area. He served there until 2008, when he was assigned to the North Georgia Area.

Margaret Lee married Benjamin Michael Watson on June 16, 1973, at First United Methodist Church, Dothan. Margaret and Mike have two children: Benjamin (Ben) Lee Watson and Elizabeth Margaret Watson and three grandchildren.