Huge crowds gathered at Watoto Church in Kampala on Friday to see the transfer of power from the founding couple of the ministry, Gary and Marilyn Skinner, to the Associate Team Leaders, Julius and Vernita Rwotlonyo.
Several radio and television stations were present to cover the historic occasion.
Watoto Church Elder and Head of the Leadership Transition Management Committee Fred Kawuma expressed his excitement to media reporters about God's faithfulness to Watoto and where He is leading them in the future.
"Our founders have been training the Associate Team Leaders for this significant transformation as the ministry has undergone and is experiencing a leadership transition. More than five years ago, this process began, according to Mr. Fred Kawuma. "We are optimistic about the ministry's stability and sustainability amid a leadership transition."
The Watoto Church and Watoto Child Care Ministries, known for bringing hope and healing to disadvantaged women and children in Uganda and South Sudan, now have Julius and Vernita Rwotlonyo as their new Team Leaders.
Since the team's establishment in 1984, Gary and Marilyn Skinner have served as the team leaders.
Gary and Marilyn Skinner, who have been in full-time ministry for ten years, announced their retirement from the position in the following statement: "Over the past ten years, with the blessing and endorsement of the Watoto Church leadership, we have, very intentionally, been preparing and mentoring our successors. We are happy to announce that Julius and Vernita, who have been Watoto's associate team leaders for the past five years, will take our place.
"We praise God for what He is doing in this new season, and we beg you to give Julius and Vernita the same love and encouragement you have always given to us." they said.
Pastor Julius Rwotlonyo and his wife expressed their appreciation for Pastor Gary and Marilyn's guidance and commitment to continuing their legacy.
"Since 1984, our founders have faithfully shepherded Watoto Church and reached the most vulnerable children, women, and communities by walking in obedience to God's call. They have provided us with almost four decades of excellent and imaginative leadership. Vernita and I are humbled to be moving into this role to continue with the mandate of our vision to see healing come to the cities and the nations." Pastor Julius Rwotlonyo stated.
A number of Church leaders congratulated Pastor Gary and Marilyn's successors on social media shortly after the Leadership Transition Service.
"Congratulations Pastors Julius and Vernita on your new position as head of the illustrious Watoto family and your task. And I want to thank Pastor Gary and Marilyn Skinner for a job well done; you have truly demonstrated to this country what it means to be a good leader and to carry the torch to the following generation." Peter Kasirivu, the lead pastor at Gaba Community Church said We love you and respect you.