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2016 Baccalaureate Speaker: The Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock PDF Print E-mail
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Photo by Bernie Sauls 

The Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was the 2016 Baccalaureate speaker.  The service was held on May 6, 2016 at 6:00 p.m., at Dillard University on the Avenue of the Oaks.

Rev. Warnock is a native of Savannah, Ga., and completed his undergraduate studies as Morehouse College (B.A., Psychology).  He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, from which he graduated with honors and distinctions.  Continuing his studies, Warnock went on to receive both a Master of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy from Union.  He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., and is a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.

His pastoral career began as an intern at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where he was ordained by the Rev John T. Porter, who himself had served as Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit assistant at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.  After ten years of service at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City, Rev. Warnock spent 4 ½ years as the Senior Pastor of Baltimore’s Douglas Memorial Community Church.

In 2005, at 35 years of age, Dr. Warnock became the fifth as well as the youngest person ever called to be the senior pastorate of Ebenezer Church.  Under his leadership, more than 4,000 new members have joined Ebenezer while Dr. Warnock has enhanced the Church’s legacy of social activism.  Through his work Ebenezer has expanded ministries and community services to unprecedented levels.  In 2016 he was honored to have his footprints placed on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, just one of the many recognitions he has received during his illustrious career.

For more information on the 2016 Dillard University commencement activities, and for a copy of the commencement guide, visit


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