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Michael A. Walrond, Jr. is the seventh Senior Pastor of the historic First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York.
A native of Freeport, New York, Rev. Walrond pursued his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Religion. During his matriculation at Morehouse, Rev. Walrond accepted his call to ministry and began to work diligently through education and service to prepare for a life in ministry. He continued his studies at Duke University School of Divinity, as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar and earned a Master of Divinity degree with a focus in Theology.
Rev. Walrond served Duke University as the University Minister and Director of the African American Campus Ministry for eight years. During that time he worked with students and staff to build capacity for ministry through worship services, mission trips, spiritual retreats and theological reflection. Rev. Walrond served as the Senior Pastor of Zion Temple United Church of Christ in Durham, North Carolina for seven years. While there the congregation grew from twenty five members to nearly five hundred as Rev. Walrond raised the bar for effectiveness and efficiency through enhanced worship, ministry building and community service.
Presently, Rev. Walrond, who is also affectionately known by the congregation as Pastor Mike, serves as the leader, pastor and teacher to the “ever evolving community of visionaries & dreamers” at First Corinthian Baptist Church. Within two years of his leadership at FCBC, the church experienced a tremendous amount of growth, tripling its membership, and inevitably necessitating the addition of a second service. Over the past eight years, membership at FCBC has grown from three hundred and fifty disciples to over seven thousand, and has led to the creation of several new ministries and initiatives. Pastor Mike’s vision for discipleship wholeness and community wellness has launched vision teams including- HEALED HIV/AIDS Ministry, Social Justice, DTV Drama, Clothing, Celebrate Life Recovery Ministries, and Business and Culinary Arts Vision Teams. The dynamic preaching, teaching and discipleship of Pastor Mike led to the need for an additional service in 2010: Freestyle Fridays, a service that celebrates the art of improvisation and creativity. Pastor Mike’s foresight and passion for the Harlem community has shaped the vision for FCBC’s, newest innovation; the FCBC Dream Center. Set to launch in Central Harlem in the summer of 2012, the FCBC Dream Center will be a transformative space designed to awaken the dreams of the community through leadership development, arts enrichment, and economic empowerment.
Rev. Walrond has worked tirelessly to build an innovative, relevant and ground-breaking ministry with a commitment to social justice. He played a vital role in getting the ‘New York City Living Wage’ legislation passed through the city council, and currently serves as a board member of the National Action Network. In the spring of 2012, Rev. Walrond was appointed as the first National Director of Minister’s Division of the National Action Network by Rev. Al Sharpton. Rev. Walrond also has a strong commitment to public, private, and higher education and currently serves as a Trustee and adjunct faculty member of Chicago Theological Seminary, in Chicago, Illinois. His work has been recognized by many media publications including – The Harlem Torch, Positive Community Magazine, The Amsterdam News, and by Newsweek Magazine as “One of the Lord’s Foot Soldiers”. Rev. Walrond has been honored as the recipient of various recognitions and citations including being inducted into Morehouse Colleges’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers as a “Distinguished Preacher”. He is a member Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Morehouse College Alumni Association. In addition to his religious affiliations and community involvement, Rev. Walrond also serves as weekly columnist for the New York Amsterdam News.
Rev. Walrond is married the Rev. Dr. LaKeesha N. Walrond, who serves as the Executive Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church. They are the proud parents of two beautiful children, Michael III and Jasmyn Dominique.