There were countless eyes focused on Nashville and Tennessee State University’s Gentry Center on a recent crisp November evening. Bishop Joseph Warren Walker III was officially invested as the new Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International. He is the senior pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.—and ‘Mt Zion Anywhere,’ due the vast following online and at all three churches. He’s the new leader of one of the largest African American faith based organizations in the nation.
The 2015 inaugural service highlighted and honored a myriad of leaders and lay people from across the nation. It’s no surprise that the Gentry Center was easily transformed into a mass worship service that night.
Bishop Walker is a highly credentialed and accomplished man of God, but is as ‘down to earth’ as anyone could be. He is affectionately called ‘Bishop’ by practically anyone he encounters. The Shreveport, Louisiana native and his lovely wife, First Lady Stephanie Walker, M.D. (neonatologist at Vanderbilt University) were recognized and celebrated and remained humble throughout the thorough ceremony. The order of service began with an open call to worship followed by a well rounded program that carried throughout the evening.
After entering the building and being shown to their seats, everyone was handed a copy of the Commemorative Edition Issue of Mt Zion Baptist Church Trumpet and a personal vial for Holy Communion, to participate in that part of the service.
Bishop Walker made history that night, and his elevation to the new Presiding Bishop position will further enhance his kingdom work. Past Presiding Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. couldn’t have been prouder. His loving emotion came through in his portion of the pronouncement and investiture, with the type of love demonstrated from a father to a son or an older sibling to the younger sibling. For well over 20 years he has contributed to the church, the worldwide Full Gospel leadership and the community as a whole with his involvement in critical social issues affecting everyone.
As we finish out this year and move ahead into 2016, Bishop Walker’s platform will include and reside within the mission of S.H.I.F.T., the acronym for Sustainability, Holiness, Innovation, Finance and Transcendence. Most recently, Bishop Walker released his tenth book, Reset Your Life: Make a New Start to teach people biblical ways anew through faith in God.
Bishop Walker received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University, a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Meharry Medical College and Southern University. Bishop Walker is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and the Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity.
A big round of kudos and a ‘hat’s off’ go to all who worked tirelessly to pull this event and the entire 2015 Full Gospel Leadership conference off, including: Mt. Zion Media Marketing and Ministry Departments; DVL Sigenthaler, PR-Marketing; Dr. Glenda Glover; and TSU. Nashville proudly hosted a myriad of registered conference attendees, guests and leaders. The excitement is building for the great things coming in 2016. For future events, services, and the 2016 schedule, visit www.mtzionnashville.org or fullgospelconference.org