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Bishop Joseph Walker to give keynote address at Alcorn’s Baccalaureate Service

Alcorn State University will hold its Baccalaureate Service on Friday, May 13, at 3:30 p.m. at Oakland Memorial Chapel. Bishop Joseph Warren Walker III, who has been the historic Mt. Zion Baptist Church leader for 30 years in Nashville, Tennessee, will be the guest speaker.

The purpose of the Baccalaureate Service is to celebrate Alcorn graduates and their accomplishments.

“Bishop Walker is a much sought-after spiritual leader known throughout the world for his strategic thinking, practical life-changing messages, and ability to connect head and heart in service of young and old alike,” said Dr. C. Edward Rhodes, director of Student Religious and Spiritual Life. “In addition to pastoring one of the largest churches in America and leading a cutting-edge religious organization, Dr. Walker also sits on university and banking boards. When Oprah Winfrey needed someone in Nashville to help her serve the city during the pandemic, she turned to none other than Bishop Walker.”

Walker currently serves on the boards of directors for Meharry Medical College, Citizens Savings Bank & Trust, and the Greater Nashville Chapter of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In 2020, Walker was appointed by Dr. Michael Lomax to serve as a member of the UNCF President’s National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council.

He also serves as the international presiding bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. In July 2013, he was chosen to succeed the founding International Presiding Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr.

A prolific writer, Walker is a best-selling author of 13 books. His latest book, “Leadership and Loneliness,” outlines ways to understand, manage, and find opportunities in the moments of loneliness associated with leadership. He and his wife, Dr. Stephaine Walker, co-authored a book titled “Becoming a Couple of Destiny.”

His inspirational messages make him a sought-after university commencement speaker and orator in diverse spaces. Walker is a regular guest on the Rickey Smiley Radio Show and a host of other nationally syndicated radio shows that reach millions across the United States. He also has been a guest on CNN, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton on MSNBC, The CBS Morning News, CBN, the 700 Club, Sister Circle, The Roland Martin Show, and authors a quarterly op-ed in the Tennessee Tribune titled “Reset.”

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 Theological Seminary. He holds three honorary doctorate degrees from Meharry Medical College, Southern University, and Kentucky State University.

In 1992, at the age of 24, Walker began his pastorate at Mt. Zion with 175 members. Presently, the ministry has grown to over 30,000 and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate of more than 1,000 persons per year. Under his leadership, Mt. Zion has expanded beyond its original location on historic Jefferson Street to multiple weekly services in three physical locations, as well as Mt. Zion’s virtual church location – Mt. Zion Anywhere – in addition to a weekly television broadcast that reaches 15 million viewers worldwide.

“His love for HBCUs and his story of resilience against great odds resonates with Alcorn’s story of perseverance and what our graduating seniors endured to get to his point. Bishop Walker will inspire them not just for that service but also for life,” said Rhodes.