Walker Memorial Baptist Church History

The Walker Memorial Baptist Church traces its roots back to 1891. A group of Christian men and women established our church. On April 23, 1891, the group, formerly members of the Shiloh Baptist Church, met and organized a regular and independent church. To honor their late and beloved pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church, the Reverend William J. Walker, the newly organized fellowship chose the name Walker Memorial Baptist Church. Officers were elected and led a procession to a new site, where Reverend I.O. Bryant was called as their first pastor in 1891. Reverend Bryant served for six years until 1897.

On December 5, 1899, the church called its second pastor, Reverend E.B. Gordon. He was a powerful pastor, and under his leadership, the current church site—located at 2020 13th Street, NW—was purchased. After breaking ground in January 1906, the church held its first worship service in the new sanctuary on November 18, 1906. Reverend Gordon served faithfully until his death. Other ministers at Walker Memorial included Reverend H.C.D. Wilson (1918-1922), Reverend Leonard E. Keiser (1923-1929), and Reverend William A. Randolph (1930-1940).


On September 8, 1940, the church called Reverend Nelson J. Smith as its sixth pastor. Under Reverend Smith’s leadership, the church prospered both spiritually and financially beyond expectations. During Reverend Smith’s twenty-five years of faithful service, the church developed numerous ministries, including several singing groups. Due to consistent growth, the church completed an addition to the then-current building to support a growing membership and to enhance the programs offered to the congregation and the community. In December 1965, Reverend Smith retired. The church conferred the title of Pastor Emeritus on Reverend Smith in recognition of his long and devoted service to God and His people.

In 1966, the church called Reverend Reginald M. Green as its seventh pastor, and May of the following year, Reverend Green was installed as pastor. During Reverend Green’s pastorate, many new and innovative ideas took shape, and Walker Memorial experienced the great joy of bringing new souls to God. As pastor, Reverend Green remained active in the Civil Rights movement. Prior to his call as pastor of Walker Memorial, Reverend Green was jailed for six weeks in Mississippi as a Freedom Rider; and during his pastorate, he was an active member of the NAACP. A champion of gender and women’s rights, Reverend Green licensed and ordained the first women Baptist ministers in this area; Reverend Allie P. Parker and Reverend Diane B. Williams. In addition, with the assistance of Associate Minister Reverend Willie J. McGee (architect), who is still a dedicated and faithful member today, Reverend Green led the construction of the new edifice that you see today. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new million-dollar building took place on August 15, 1981, with the cornerstone laid October 31, 1982. The first service in our new building took place in 1983. Reverend Green took sabbatical in 2005 and officially retired in May 2006. After 40 years of service, the church bestowed upon him the title of Pastor Emeritus.


During Reverend Green’s leave of absence, Reverend Alexander Williams, Jr., an associate minister of Walker Memorial, was named interim pastor in March 2005. Reverend Williams remained in that position for just over three years. On March 9, 2008, the church called its eighth pastor, Reverend Turhan L. Potter. Reverend Potter enacted new initiatives, including a Bible Institute. Reverend Potter continued to be faithful and dedicated to the church until his resignation in February 2010. Thereafter, the church recalled Reverend Williams as interim pastor. During Reverend Williams’ total tenure of more than six-years, many significant and positive changes occurred in the church, including welcoming the church’s first ordained female deacon, Dr. Minnie Harmon. Reverend Williams continued as interim pastor until the church called its current Pastor-Elect.

On November 2, 2013, Walker Memorial called Reverend Ademuyiwa T. Bamiduro as its ninth and current pastor. Upon being called, Reverend Bamiduro asked the congregation to go into forty days of prayer in the following areas: for God’s presence and guidance during its new journey; for each member, individually and collectively; for spiritual growth within and beyond the walls of the church; and for growth as a strong and Bible-based congregation. On January 1, 2014, Reverend Bamiduro began his pastorate with the theme “The Power of Prayer.” Reverend Bamiduro has demonstrated himself to be a man of God, and with the aid of the Holy Spirit, is moving the church forward and growing the congregation. Reverend Bamiduro believes that Walker Memorial is standing on fertile ground, and by using the first church as a model, he is leading Walker Memorial as a prayerful congregation, that is walking in the Spirit, and bringing souls to Christ. Reverend Bamiduro is married to Portia R. Bamiduro.