Pastor Walker’s Bio

Pastor bio pic

Biography of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker

Dr. T. Vaughn Walker is a native of Heathsville, Virginia where he was reared in a Christian family. He is the first of three sons born to Thomas and Mary Walker.  He accepted Christ at the age of 8 and was active in his home church, the Macedonia Baptist Church, throughout his childhood years.


Dr. Walker married his Hampton University college sweetheart, Dr. Cheryl D. (Jackson) Walker. They have three children (David, Mary and Eryn) and 5 grandchildren (Celeste, Celvion, Jai, Joi, & Josiah). Dr. Walker is presently Senior Pastor of First Gethsemane Baptist Church, Louisville, KY where he has served since March 1984. The church has grown in spirit, ministry involvement, fellowship, facilities, property holdings, finances, and membership during his ministry.  Additionally, Dr. Walker serves as a full-time Professor of Black Church Studies, WMU Professor of Christian Ministries (endowed chair), and Director of the Black Church Leadership Doctor of Ministry and Black Church Studies Ph.D programs at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY. He was selected as Southern Seminary’s and the Southern Baptist Convention’s first regularly appointed African American Professor in 1986. In the over 150-year history of the seminary, he is the first African American to be tenured and to obtain the rank of Full Professor.


Dr. Walker holds the Ph.D degree from Oregon State University; the Master of Divinity/Christian Education degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; the Master of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University; and the Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University.


Dr. Walker is the author of numerous professional writings including chapters in a number of books, as well as articles and sermons in the Journal of African American Southern Baptist History, the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, The Review and Expositor, Challenge of the Great Commission, Faith and Family Values, Human Services and Social Change: An African American Church Perspective, The Ministers Manual, Deacon Magazine, and several others.  He and the First Gethsemane Church were featured as one of only 13 congregations in the entire nation honored as a BreakOut Church in Dr. Thom Rainer’s book of the same title in 2006. His most current endeavor, an upcoming book tentatively entitled Spiritual Pastoral Leadership is due to be released in 2014.


Dr. Walker has traveled, taught, and preached with the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, INC. in Africa (several countries)  and Germany; taught and preached in the National Congress of Christian Education NBC USA, INC., National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, Progressive National Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention of America, The Southern Baptist Convention, The American Baptist Churches USA,  and delivered lectures at a number of colleges, seminaries and universities.


Dr. Walker formerly served as Senior Pastor of the Log Providence Baptist Church, Columbia, MO.  He served as Vice-Moderator of the Mt. Carmel District Association (Missouri), as Moderator of the Central District Baptist Association (Louisville, KY); Dean of the Bluegrass State Baptist Convention; President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition (KY). He formerly was a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and served as a public school teacher/coach in the Newport News VA School System. He lettered in Football and Baseball at Hampton University.

Dr. Walker serves as a Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Simmons College of Kentucky as well as a board member of the Faith Channel. He formerly served on the Board of Advisors of The Academy of Preachers, The Louisville Christian Foundation and eight years as the first African American member of the Board of Trustees for Georgetown College. He has severed on numerous commissions, committees, and task teams for the City of Louisville, University of Louisville, Urban League, NAACP, Hampton University Alumni Association Louisville Chapter, General Association of Kentucky Baptist,  and others too numerous to mention here.


Dr. Walker was licensed and ordained by the Second Baptist Church, Columbia, MO, under the then leadership of Rev. Jewell D. Jones, Sr. Upon arriving with his family to Louisville, Dr. Walker united with the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown under the then leadership of Rev. Dr. Thurmond Coleman, Sr.

A Church Full of the Gospel where the S-O-N Always Shines!

Catch The Wave!