Dr. Walter L. Smith, Jr. is a native of Chase City Virginia. He was educated in the Mecklenburg County, Virginia Public Schools. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice and Public Safety from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1980, his Master of Divinity Degree from Virginia Union University. He received his Doctor of Ministry on May 7, 2005 from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University. Doctor of Ministry project was focused in the area of lay leadership and development, titled "From Burnout to Burning Bush." He termed and developed a “Theo-molecular” model for team ministry and lay leadership. This model was tested and proved to be a productive construct conducive to both ministries and individuals in the church for effective leadership and ministry development.
Dr. Smith was licensed to preach the gospel in 1987 and ordained in 1991 at the St. Peter Baptist Church, Glen Allen, Virginia under the pastorate of Dr. Kirkland R. Walton. He has served in ministry in the rural and urban context. Prior to being called to his present ministry in February 2006, He served as Pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Doswell, Virginia from 1991 to 1996 and the New Light Baptist Church, Richmond Virginia, from 1996 to 2006. From 1987 to 1991 he served as an associate minister at St. Peter Baptist Church.
While pursuing “his calling”, Reverend Smith served as a Police Officer from 1980 to 2001 with the County of Henrico, Virginia Division of Police where he became the first African American in the history of the department to enter the ranks of management. During his 20 years of law enforcement he received numerous awards for his work within the Richmond, Virginia Metropolitan area in narcotics and vice related crimes. While serving as a Police Executive his assignments included Virginia General Assembly Liaison for the County of Henrico, He served as the Henrico County Division of Police Inspector, Internal Auditor, and Commander of Internal Affairs. In January 2005 he resigned his position with the Division of Police to fulfill God’s call upon his life in the ministry.
Prior to leaving Richmond in 2006, Dr. Smith was involved and associated with many professional and civic organizations including the Baptist Ministers Conference of Richmond and Vicinity where he served as First Vice President, the Board of Directors for the Church Hill Association, the Personnel Board of the Chaplain Service of Virginia, and the staff of Richmond Virginia Seminary as instructor of Homiletics.
He now serves on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Community Development.
Dr. Smith (also an avid golfer) is married to the former Theresa Wilkerson. They have one daughter, Sheena Angela, and one adorable grandson, Kyle Emmanuel Bonds.