Rev. Robert Carlton Walker-Smith, Pastor
The Reverend Robert Carlton Walker-Smith is the 38th Pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in Smithfield, North Carolina. He began his official duties on July 1, 2016. He is the fifth of six children born to the union of Deacon Robert & Deaconess Barbara Smith. He was licensed to the ministry in May 1990 and ordained in December 1996 at First Genesis Missionary Baptist Church through the Great Lakes Baptist Association, Inc.
For 15 years, Reverend Walker-Smith served at First Genesis Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Clarence C. Gavin. As an avid promoter of holistic ministry and community empowerment, Reverend Walker-Smith served in the following capacities:
- Baptist Training Union (BTU) Instructor
- Chairman, First Genesis Development Corporation
- Interim Pastor
- Pastoral Assistant
- Sunday School Superintendent
- Sunday School Teacher
- Understanding God’s Word Instructor
- Youth Minister & Director of Youth Ministries
Upon Reverend Gavin’s retirement, Reverend Walker-Smith decided to pursue other interests beyond First Genesis Baptist Church. Reverend Walker-Smith was called to serve with Christian Friendship Missionary Baptist Church as an Associate Minister under the leadership of Reverend Dr. John S. Walker. During his time at Christian Friendship, he has served as Co-Chairperson, Church Anniversary Committee with his wife and President of the Men’s Fellowship.
Reverend Walker-Smith earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Roberts Wesleyan College in December 1995. He earned the Master of Divinity degree in Theology with a concentration in Black Church History from Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminary in May 1998. During his time, he served as President of the Black Student Caucus and Vice President, National Alliance of Pan-African Seminarians. Upon graduation, he received the American Baptist Churches of New York State Black Pastors Award for Promise in Pastoral Ministry.
He completed post-graduate studies at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education & Human Development at the University of Rochester. In his desire to fulfill a lifelong goal, he has completed all coursework for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Human Science from Saybrook University in Oakland, California. His research focuses on the impact of poverty in urban environments, such as public education, housing, and economic development.
While in Rochester, he served in several community based organizations and is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is married to his sweetheart, Dr. Tiamesha M. Walker-Smith, who serves as Executive Director of Athena of the Triangle. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Taylor and Kiari (ki-ree). Kiari is currently employed with the Rochester City School District. Taylor is a student at North Carolina State University studying to become a Marine Biologist.