An ordinance naming the Bridge over I-40 / I-65 between 11th Avenue North & 12th Avenue North along the 1100 block of Jefferson Street in honor of Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III.

WHEREAS, Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III, serves as pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, Bishop Walker received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He holds two honorary Doctorates from Meharry Medical College and Southern University respectively. He is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity; and

WHEREAS, Bishop Walker currently serves as the International Presiding Bishop of Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, International which consists of hundreds of churches across the globe connected by common theologies of the church experience. In July 2013, he was chosen to succeed International Presiding Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. in 2015; and

WHEREAS, Bishop Walker was born in Shreveport, Louisiana to Deacon Joseph and Rosa Walker; and in 1992, at the age of 24, he began his pastorate at Mt. Zion with 175 members. Presently, the ministry has grown to over 30,000 and continues to grow at a rate of over 2,000 souls per year. Under his leadership, Mt. Zion’s ministry has expanded beyond its original location on Historic Jefferson Street to seven weekly services in three physical locations and includes a worldwide virtual church location, as well as the Word Network that reaches over 88 million viewers worldwide. In April 2006, his leadership also expanded to Jackson, Tennessee where the Zion Church became the first church plant of Mt. Zion Baptist Church; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, Bishop Walker launched the New Level Community Development Corporation (NLCDC) which is committed to low-and moderate-income families and to community economic development; and he and his wife, Dr. Stephaine Hale, founded the Drs. Joseph & Stephaine Walker Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to assist people achieve their academic dreams; and

WHEREAS, Bishop Walker is a prolific writer who has authored nine books, including “Becoming A Couple of Destiny”, co-authored with his wife Dr. Stephaine Walker, and his latest book, “RESET: Make A New Start”; and

WHEREAS, Bishop Walker is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and he sits on several noteworthy boards, including the Board of the American Red Cross, Citizens Bank, and the Board of Trustees of Meharry Medical College. He has been named as one of the 20 Top Black Preachers in the country by The Root.com and has been recognized on EBONY’s “Power 100” list as one of the nation’s most influential African-American leaders; and

WHEREAS, Bishop Walker is a regular guest on the Rickey Smiley Radio Show as well as a host of other nationally syndicated radio shows across the United States. He also has been a guest on CNN, The CBS Morning News, The Roland Martin Show and B.E.T. He also authors a monthly Op-Ed column in The Tennessean newspaper entitled “Reset”, and he was featured in the world premiere of the film “Black, White and Blues” directed by the award-winning Mario Van Peebles; and

WHEREAS, Bishop Walker is the visionary behind Mt. Zion’s Youth & Children’s Ministry, which includes the Judah Generation Youth Choir. Likewise, he is the visionary behind Mt. Zion’s Kid-Zone—a youth-centered facility for youth worship, tutorial services and outreach; and behind Mt. Zion’s College Ministry, which provides to thousands of college students a positive environment for academic adroitness and spiritual growth; and

WHEREAS, in 2014, in the wake of social unrest following events in Ferguson, Missouri, Bishop Walker galvanized the city together and founded Nashville Unites, and organization that is rapidly becoming a national model of collaboration for addressing issues that divide communities. Nashville Unites partners with those in the community working toward positive change and provides strategy and real solutions; and

WHEREAS, throughout his life and ministry, Bishop Walker has demonstrated a caliber of leadership well beyond his years. Emerging from humble beginnings, he has become a teacher, humanitarian, philanthropist, businessman, community volunteer, husband, father and pastor, as set forth in more detail in the attached biography; and

WHEREAS, Section 13.26.010 of the Metropolitan Code provides that no building or structure of the Metropolitan Government may be named except pursuant to an ordinance duly adopted by the Metropolitan Council; and,

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that Bishop Joseph W. Walker III be recognized for his many contributions to the Nashville community as set forth above by naming the interstate overpass bridge at the 1100 block of Jefferson Street in his honor.


Section 1. That the bridge structure of the interstate overpass bridge over I-40 / I-65 between 11th Avenue North & 12th Avenue North along the 1100 block of Jefferson Street is hereby named the “Bishop Joseph W. Walker III Overpass.”

Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Erica Gilmore, Freddie O'Connell, Karen Johnson

View Attachment


Introduced: March 21, 2017
Passed First Reading: March 21, 2017
Referred to: Planning, Zoning & Historical Committee
Public Works Committee
Passed Second Reading: April 4, 2017 - Roll Call Vote
Passed Third Reading: April 18, 2017 - Roll Call Vote
Approved: April 19, 2017
By: Mayor's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.