BISHOP WILLIAM RAYMOND WHITAKER II, DD
Bishop William Raymond Whitaker, II was born in Newport News, Virginia on November 12, 1959 to William Raymond and Lillie Mae Whitaker. The Whitakers moved to Brooklyn in 1960 and took up residence in the Bedford Stuyvesant Tompkins Project community, which provided young William with the impetus for academic and spiritual success. In June 1985, he was licensed by the Greater Free Gift Baptist Church and subsequently ordained in November 1986 by his then pastor the late Dr. Daniel Webster Batts. On December 13, 1994, Bishop Whitaker was elected and installed as the Pastor of the Greater Free Gift Baptist Church where he continues to minister.
Under the leadership of Bishop Whitaker, Greater Free Gift has developed into both a spiritual and educational experience, fluid in celebration and support coupled with spiritual breakthrough. Bishop Whitaker began a number of new ministries in the local assembly such as the Drama and Dance Ministry and "Serenity on Stockton Street". He is the Establishmentarian and President of the Greater Free Gift Bible Institute where he disseminates the truth of the scriptures. In addition to being a dynamic preacher and teacher, Bishop Whitaker is a world-renowned vocalist who has recorded with legendary Gospel Artist, Pastor Timothy Wright and has toured extensively including Paris, France.
Bishop Whitaker has a proven track record as both a spiritual and civic leader whose efforts in community development and harmony have been heralded by both state and local government officials alike. Bishop has served as the Ecumenical Director to the Honorable Congressman Edolphus "Ed" Towns. He has also served as the Chair of Evangelism for the Eastern Region of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention Housing Staff USA, Inc. He has also functioned as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Director of the Music Department of the New York Missionary Baptist Association.
Dr. Whitaker holds a Bachelors of Theology from The Community Bible Institute in Brooklyn, New York (May 1999) and a Masters of Theology from Chelsea University, London, England where he graduated with the highest academic distinction, summa cum laude (May 2004). In October 2004, the Hope for All Bible College bestowed upon Pastor Whitaker an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Dr. Whitaker went on thereafter to earn a Doctorate of Divinity in June 2005 from Master's Divinity School in Evansville, Indiana.
In March 2005, the Senior Pastor and Prelate of Agape Christian Fellowship of Covenant Churches and Ministries, Bishop David C. Wallace, publicly proclaimed Bishop Whitaker as a Prince in the Lord's Church. On May 5, 2007 he was consecrated Bishop and on May 8, 2009 was elevated to First Assistant Presiding Prelate.
In August 2011, after much prayer, Bishop Whitaker joined the Pentecostal Churches of Christ reformation and was affirmed by The Most Reverend J. Delano Ellis II, the Presiding Prelate of Pentecostal Churches of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio, and the President of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops.
Bishop Whitaker is a progressive twenty-first century leader who holds true to the biblical standard of holiness while empowering both sons and daughters to continue Christ's work of reconciliation of the world. Bishop Whitaker operates in the gift of healing and provides due care for God's people. He can oft time be heard declaring "I Believe God". Dr. Whitaker is truly a man of purpose, integrity and a great ministerial visionary who humbly walks in his prophetic calling with spiritual authority.