Dr. Rodney D. Waller is the anointed Senior Pastor of the First African Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia. He serves as the 10th Pastor of this historic church, the third oldest African American church in the United States.
Dr. Waller has pastored at First African Baptist Church for ten years. Under his leadership, the church has experienced tremendous growth in membership and ministry. He led the congregation in expanding its ministry through passionate worship and engaging in purposeful outreach. As a result, a second service was added. First African became a debt-free church twice during Dr. Waller’s tenure. He is best known for his gifted preaching, visionary leadership and love for teaching God’s word.
His commitment to grow a holistic ministry resulted in the development of the Ministers in Training program (MIT), FABC Discipleship Institute and the Core Ministry Leaders Roundtable collaborative sessions. Since assuming the role of Senior Pastor, Dr. Waller has added several new staff positions to include: Minister of Christian Education, Minister of Missions, Minister of Evangelism, Youth Minister, Minister of Music, Church Business Administrator and Executive Assistant to the Pastor. First African continues to grow under Dr. Waller’s leadership, especially in its ministry to youth and young adults.
Dr. Waller’s love and sense of compassion for others makes him no stranger to service in the community. He participated in two city-wide initiatives to promote positive change, The Community Faith Leaders Walk and The Community Walk Through Prayer. He is a member of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Richmond and Vicinity where he has served as Treasurer. Dr. Waller was appointed by Mayor Dwight Jones to represent the City of Richmond on the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority, serving Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico. He has served as a volunteer chaplain at the Rappahannock General Hospital, a member of the Lancaster County Special Education Department, the Lancaster County Planning Commission, and the Lancaster Board of Directors. He is the past President of the Northern Neck Ministers Conference and the Jesse DuPont Foundation Church Resource Service. He is a member of the Hampton Ministers’ Conference Executive Board and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Waller earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Religious studies from Virginia Union University, a Master of Divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Virginia University of Lynchburg. He participated in the UK African American Preaching Festival in London, England. While in London, he studied at Oxford University under the leadership of Dr. Joel Gregory.
Dr. Waller’s compassion for God’s people is demonstrated in the way he leads and is shared in the pages of his books. Dr. Waller is the author of Leadership Empowerment and a newly released second edition of Leadership Empowerment: Behind the Scenes of Excellence which includes a workbook. He also has released his first daily devotional book, The Word for You Today.
Dr. Waller believes the church‘s purpose is to motivate, inspire, and challenge God’s people to discover and live according to His divine word.