Religion

Book-signing to benefit ministry

Rev. Hamp Watson’s book features meditations by local clergy

By ALLISON KENNEDY

akennedy@ledger- enquirer.com

The Rev. Hamp Watson of Macon, a retired United Methodist minister, will sign copies of his sixth book Sunday at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 2204 Second Ave.

All the proceeds from “A Light Unto My Path” will benefit Open Door Community House, a social services ministry supported by the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church as well as the United Way.

Signings will take place after the three morning services, which begin at 8:25 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10:55 a.m.

A native of Baxley, Ga., Watson has been pastor of United Methodist churches since 1951. Following pancreatic cancer surgery in 2007, he has doubly retired following 13 years of service beyond retirement in small membership churches.

“You will find ‘A Light Unto My Path’ to be a gift for your life that keeps on giving. Hamp Watson has tapped into a great need for Christians to understand more deeply the meaning of Advent/Christmas and the other seasons of the church year,” Bishop James R. King of the South Georgia Conference said in a statement. “He captures the heart and soul of the gospel.”

The book is a collection of meditations, of which Watson has written about two-thirds.

Present and former Columbus pastors and supporters of Open Door Community House have contributed 20 of the meditations. The writers include two pastors of St. Paul UMC who have since died: John Wilson and Frederick Wilson, and a portion of a meditation by the late Rev. William H. Hinson.

Other authors are: the Revs. Tim Bagwell, Hal Brady, Sammy Clark, Marcia Cochran, Buddy Cooper, Jr., Fred B. Craddock, Ronnie L. Culpepper, Jimmy Duke Jr., C. G. Haugabook, Jr., David Haygood, Sr., Creede Hinshaw, Tom H. Johnson, Jr., Jack Key, Gilbert Ramsey, A. Jason Shirah, Ron Smith, C. E. “Ned” Steele and Bishop James E. Swanson.

This book stands in the tradition of the five earlier books edited or written by Watson, in that it benefits a ministry of the South Georgia Conference. “Frederick Wilson Still Speaks” benefited The Methodist Home for Children and Youth. “More Big Words for Our Time” went to Wesley Glen Homes for Adults with Handicapping Conditions. “Little Stories/Big Ideas” helped The League of the Good Samaritan at Magnolia Manor. “A Christmas Cornucopia” assisted “Miss Ella’s Camp for Special People” at Epworth-By-the-Sea and “Saying Yes and Amen to Life” benefited The Vashti Center in Thomasville.

“Persons who live in poverty and who are homeless forever will be changed because of this peek into God’s own heart through the written word,” the Rev. Kim Jenkins, director of Open Door, said in a statement.

“Children will find safe refuge, women will find employment and housing, families will be reunited, senior adults will be nurtured, and men will find gainful work — all leading to persons reaching their full potential as children of God and all which, I believe, make God smile.”

Friends and supporters have paid all of the printing and production costs, which allows all proceeds to go to Open Door.

“A Light Unto My Path” may be ordered at $12 each with checks made out to Open Door. The $12 includes $2 for shipping. To order this book or any of the earlier books, e-mail Hamp Watson at whwatson2@cox.net or through the postal service: 149 Cambridge Way Macon, GA 31220. Or call 478-475-1763.

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