NASHVILLE, TN -- (Marketwired) -- 04/21/17 -- Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will officially name the I40/I65 overpass next to Mount Zion Baptist Church's Jefferson Street location after Bishop Joseph Warren Walker III during a celebration on April 23 marking Walker's 25th pastoral anniversary. Mayor Barry will be joined by Metro Council Members Erica Gilmore and Fred O'Connell, who cosponsored the bill to name the overpass for Walker in appreciation for his decades of service to the city. The bill passed unanimously April 18.
Due to the large number of people interested in attending the anniversary service and official bridge dedication, the ceremony will be held at the mega-church's Old Hickory location rather than at the Jefferson Street site. To culminate the 25th anniversary milestone, world-renowned senior pastor Dr. Craig L. Oliver of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. will be the guest minister for the service.
"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mayor Barry, council members Gilmore O'Connell, and the council for conferring on me this tremendous honor," said Bishop Walker. "Jefferson Street was where it all began for me, and where my heart lies. So much good has been done by so many pastors down through the generations from this street, which has been the heart and soul of Nashville's African-American community. I'm so humbled to be a part of that legacy."
For 25 years, Bishop Walker has combined stirring oratory and a pastoral sensibility with a commitment to bring all people together throughout Nashville and beyond. He also serves as the Presiding Bishop of Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, which is comprised of hundreds of Word-centered congregations across the globe.
"Bishop Walker's commitment to the larger Nashville community and its betterment has been so important to our growth and sense of unity across race, class and economics," said Mayor Barry. "I would like to congratulate Bishop Walker on his anniversary and his outstanding leadership for 25 years, and I appreciate the Metro Council moving to name the Jefferson Street overpass after him."
At the age of 24, Bishop Walker began his pastorate at Mount Zion with just 175 members. Today, Mount Zion's membership stands at 30,000 today and shows no signs of slowing down -- with a growth rate of 2,000 per year. Among his many accolades are:
- Founding Nashville Unites, an initiative to bring minority communities together with the leaders of Nashville's criminal justice system to honestly address problems and find solutions in the wake of national unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
- Establishing largest College Ministry in the country;
- Cofounding with his wife, Stephaine Walker, MD, the ground-breaking, free fitness program, ChurchFIT, to heal people in mind, body and spirt, which has had 15,000 participants to date;
- Raising a total of $60,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during the church's first year of participation, more than had ever been raised by a single faith-based organization for the hospital;
- Authored nine books on a range of topics, such as relationships, purpose, and destiny.
The anniversary celebration and bridge dedication begins and 11:15 a.m. at Mt. Zion's Old Hickory location, 7594 Old Hickory Blvd.
About Mt. Zion Baptist Church
Mount Zion Baptist Church is a Word-centered ministry designed to evangelize the lost at any cost, equip and empower the people of God and provide holistic ministry to our community as well as the world. Seeking to minister to the total person, we are a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural ministry impacting the world in which we live with the uncompromising message of Jesus Christ. Committed to the spirit of excellence, we are striving to become an oasis of hope within the Nashville community by promoting and providing education and awareness, as well as financial independence. Mount Zion Baptist Church is one church located in the three locations and accessible virtually anywhere via mtzionanywhere.org to millions around the world.