Welcome to our summer series, “Interview with a Pastor.” This series will highlight some of the pastors and churches in Project Thrive as we journey together toward the final year of the Thriving Congregations Initiative. We are grateful for the pastors as they lead their churches toward a thriving, hopeful future!

The Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Walker is senior pastor at Faith United Missionary Baptist Church, serving the Haynes neighborhood north of Nashville. They have a vibrant community steeped in the Black Baptist Church tradition of powerful worship, prayer, and preaching. Faith continues to be a leader in the Project Thrive cohort through their dedication to ministry and study and being a beacon of hope to their community.

The goal of Project Thrive is to help our churches thrive in their context. In your opinion, you believe your church is thriving and in what ways? 

Yes, I do in good part. 1) The church’s ministry, revamped ministry in some ways, is emerging from its “forced hibernation” due to Covid.

Has your definition of thriving changed through this process? 

Yes, I believe. If so, how? We understand more fully who and where we are as a church body and ministry. And we are better positioned, I think, and look to function more collaboratively as a church with others [I.e., parachurch organizations, etc.].  

Do you think the nature of your church either has changed or will change in the future? 

It has changed a bit. And I do think the right makings are there for more constructive changes going forward.  

What has been a valuable lesson you have learned as your church has participated in this process? 

Simple. The caricature of a thriving, robust church is not reflected in sheer numbers or size, but its nature–ministry nature and scope, etc.  

What part of the process has been most helpful? 

The congregational conversations, the pastoral mentoring support, and the ongoing exposure to ministry expertise from folks in the field. 

What do you want to celebrate? 

I (we) celebrate the Lord for connecting our church, its ministry, and me as pastor and staff ministers to the Project Thrive initiative. I celebrate how the Lord has used, and I trust will continue to use Project Thrive, to help expose Faith United MBC to an ever-expanding web of ministry partners, opportunities, grow and learning, support, and collaborators. Jesus! I (we) are grateful and praise your majestic name.