By: Delores Kimbrough
In September, view 2012, Bon Air Baptist Church, in an overwhelming vote of affirmation, chose Dr. William Whitaker II as their new Executive Pastor. Dr. Whitaker will be responsible for all church daily operations and most ministerial staff will report to him. Dr. Whitaker, an African American leader in Virginia, is leaving his current position as Executive Business Pastor at 1st Baptist Church of South Richmond and starting with Bon Air Baptist Church in the Executive Pastor position on October 23. Dr. Whitaker will report to Bon Air’s senior pastor, Travis Collins.
Dr. Whitaker is an instructor of Church Finance and Administration at the School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia and also a faculty member of the Institute of Church Administration and Management (ICAM) on the campus of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia where he trains pastors and church leaders in the areas of church administration, lay leadership development, and legal issues affecting the modern day church. Dr. Whitaker received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1992 in Computer Information Systems from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and his Master of Divinity in 1995 from the School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. He began his doctoral studies at Howard University’s School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. and in 2000, he was one of 14 Roberson/Wert scholars to receive the Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Whitaker is a member of the National Association of Church Business Administration and his Ministry of Business Administration has been featured in The Calling and The African American Pulpit, both of which are national publications addressing issues affecting today’s religious community.
Bon Air Baptist Church is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. The church’s primary identification is with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. In 2011, for the first time in 188 years, the predominantly white Baptist General Association of Virginia elected an African-American president. Suffolk, Virginia pastor, Mark Croston, was elected to the top spot during the BGAV’s annual meeting Nov. 8-9 in Richmond, Va. In 2012, the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention passed to an African-American pastor for the first time. The nation’s largest Protestant denomination elected the Rev. Fred Luter Jr. to lead them.
This year, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The power of God’s Spirit has brought much transformation, reconciliation, and healing to our nation and to our city over the years. Dr. Whitaker’s calling to serve as Executive Pastor at Bon Air Baptist Church is a beautiful reflection of transformation in progress in our area.
Bon Air Baptist Church excitedly welcomes the dynamic duo leadership of Dr. Travis Collins and Dr. William Whitaker II as we continue on our mission to proclaim the grace of God. Our ministry emphasis is increasing numbers of transformed lives, both in our community, and around the world.