At Vinton City Council meetings, it’s Rev. Watson who leads prayers

Published 10:29 am Saturday, February 19, 2022

Prayer and the pledge kick off monthly Vinton City Council meetings. Even when the prayer comes from the same person month after month, the words can stir and set the tone for a meeting marked by the spirit of appreciation, cooperation and compassion.

At the Vinton City Council Monthly Meeting, it is Rev. Rickey Watson who does the praying.

“My wife, Theresa  and I got involved in going to city council meetings to play an active part in the community,” Watson said. “Often those prayers include thanks giving for our administration, council and employees who are willing to serve our community,” he said.

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Committing to a life of service, and making himself available to the will of God is what moved Watson from post office to pulpit.

“I got involved in ministry as a lay person,” Watson said. “Involved in lay speaking for almost 40 years, I wanted to do more. God just spoke to me and began to open up opportunities to serve.”

He was a supply pastor at various churches including churches in Roanoke, Florien, Raymond and Merryville until 2016 when he was asked to become an assistant in his home church, Vinton Welsh Memorial United Methodist Church.

“I just have this desire to spread God’s word as best I can and to serve in some capacity,” he said. “I started this as a way to help pastors, to take some of the load off them, and it worked into a little more.”

Watson has, of late, been teaching about how God put the words in Jeremiah’s mouth. Jeremiah is an Old Testament prophet concerned with false and insincere worship and failure to trust God in national affairs.

“God is there for us,” Watson said. “He won’t abandon us and he will equip us to carry out his will. We can get comfortable or settled into our situations. Some of us believe we have done our part and there’s nothing more for us. I believe there is something for us to do every day here on this earth. Often it’s necessary to get out of our comfort zone.”

Christianity, at its core, is an uncomfortable faith, according to C.S. Lewis who said if you’re looking for a religion to make you comfortable, don’t look to Christianity.

Not everyone may be called to teach or preach.

“There is always something we can do to serve, no matter how little we think it may be,” he said. “We can be there for somebody with a visit or a phone call.”

Watson said when God puts it in his heart to visit or call someone and he obeys, he usually gets more out of it than they do. His favorite verse is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phillipians 4:13).”

Watson said he has to remind himself often, it’s not only important to pray, but also to listen.

“Be still and listen to what God has to say,” he said. “Give God a chance.”