Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III, the charismatic pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee, is a shepherd with the spiritual conviction, moral aptitude and old-fashioned wisdom to return a people to God.
Reared in Shreveport, Louisiana in the 1970s, Bishop Walker grew up in a household parented by Rosa and Joseph Walker, Jr. Bishop Walker states that his father was a strong disciplinarian, and businessman. “My summer days, throughout most of my youth, were spent working with my father. I gained my strong work ethic through that experience.” His father, who also served as a church deacon and Superintendent of Sunday School, instilled in the family a reverence for God and a love for a good education. “With both foundations, we kids believed that we could master the future,” says Bishop.
Bishop Walker received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton University. In addition to Bishop Walker being the shepherd of Mt. Zion, he currently serves as Bishop of Senior Pastors in the Full Gospel Baptist Church FellowshipInternational.In July 2013, he was chosen as the International Presiding Bishop-elect of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International to succeed International Presiding Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. Bishop Walker is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity. He is married to the former Dr. Stephaine Hale. She is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Vanderbilt University. Needless to say, both Bishop and Dr. Walker agree that their most joyous accomplishment to date has been the birth of their beautiful daughter, Jovanni Willow Walker, who was born in May of 2012.
In 1992, at the age of 24, Bishop Walker began his pastorate at Mt. Zion with 175 members. Presently, the ministry has grown to over 28,000 and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate of over 1,800 souls per year. Under Bishop Walker’s leadership, Mt. Zion’s ministry has expanded beyond its original location in the Historic Jefferson Street Corridor to seven weekly services in three physical locations and includes not onlywww.mtzionanywhere.org, its fourth church location, but also other virtual outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. In April 2006, his leadership also expanded to Jackson, Tennessee where the Zion Church became the first church plant of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
As philanthropists, in 2010, Bishop and his wife, Dr. Stephaine Walker, founded the non-profit Dr. Joseph & Stephaine Walker Foundation. The Foundation is committed to helping people help themselves and to helping those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. The mission of the Foundation is primarily advanced through education, mentorship and outreach. The Foundation gives thousands of dollars each year to deserving students also awards one scholarship in the name and memory of Bishop’s late wife, Dr. Diane Greer Walker. A prolific writer, he is also the author of eight books with the most recent one, Becoming A Couple of Destiny, being co-authored with his wife. A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Bishop Walker sits on noteworthy boards, including the Board of the American Red Cross, and holdsa governor-appointed post on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. He is recognized in the March 2010Nashville Post Magazine as one of Nashville’s ministerial community’s most educated and influential leaders. Most recently in 2013, The Root.com named Bishop Walker as one of the 20 Top Black Preachers in the country, and most recently, EBONY recognized him on its “Power 100” list as one of the nation’s most influential Afro-American leaders..
Vowing never to abandon the Mt. Zion neighborhood, Bishop Walker launched the New Level Community Development Corporation (NLCDC) in 2001. The NLCDC is committed to low-and moderate-income families and to community economic development. Regarding the many disparities that reside in the African-American community, he states that the Mt. Zion Ministry is “turning over the stone of economic irresponsibility . . . by investing in programs and by partnering with outside agencies to bring about a change.”
Incorporated within the assertive listing of Bishop Walker’s activities are his outreach communication services, which include multiple webcasts via www.mtzionanywhere.org, five weekly television broadcasts and two daily radio ministries. Streaming Faith® recognized Bishop Walker with the 2008 “Most Inspirational Person” Award as the most charismatic and inspirational broadcaster whose leadership deeply impacted the hearts and lives of viewers. An expert on having “the spiritual connection” in marital relationships, Bishop Walker is a regular guest on the Rickey Smiley Radio Showas well as a host of other nationally syndicated radio showsacross America. The show reaches over 8 million homes in the United States. He also has beena guest on CNN and on CBS Morning News. Never ceasing to try new things, he was featured in the world premiere of the film Black, White and Blues, directed by award-winning Mario Van Peebles.
Deeply concerned about American’s youth, Bishop Walker is the visionary behind Mt. Zion’s Youth & Children’s Ministry, which includes the Judah Generation Youth Choir. The choir has recorded its debut album entitled Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III Presents Judah Generation. Likewise, Bishop Walker is the visionary behind Mt. Zion’s KidZone, a youth-centered facility for youth worship, tutorial services and outreach. He says that he has asked God to build him up to guide this generation—to spur them “to leave something of substance on record that extends beyond two to three generations forward.”
Throughout his life and ministry, Bishop Walker has demonstrated a caliber of leadership well beyond his years. Recognized as a man from humble beginnings, he is a teacher, humanitarian, philanthropist, businessman, community volunteer, husband, father and pastor. Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III is an anointed man of God and is rapidly becoming a national voice calling for leadership that enhances quality of life for all people.