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Yellowhammer State is filled with great African American leaders from the past, present, and future. We thank our West Alabama community partners, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Delta Phi Lambda Chapter, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Xi Omega Chapter, for their continued support.

Black History Maker of Alabama - Pastor Walter L. Hawkins, Jr.

Reverend Walter L. Hawkins Jr.
Reverend Walter L. Hawkins Jr.

Reverend Walter L. Hawkins Jr., originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has been happily married to Mrs. Mary Hawkins for 36 years. The couple has four living children, consisting of 2 boys and 2 girls. Unfortunately, they experienced the loss of one daughter in January 2023. In addition to their children, they have 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

Rev. Hawkins attended Druid High School in Tuscaloosa and graduated in 1976. Following graduation, he pursued studies in auto body and fender repair at C. A. Fredd Technical College. Later, he earned a Certificate of Ministry from the Birmingham Theological Seminary. His educational journey continued with additional studies at Samford University Extended College, and he is presently enrolled at Historical Selma University in Selma, Alabama.

Throughout his career, Rev. Hawkins has held various leadership positions in the Northbound Bethlehem District in Pickens and Bibb Counties. Notable roles include serving as President of the BTU/SS Congress and the Northbound Bethlehem Ministerial Alliance in Pickens County. He also served as President of the BTU/SS Congress of the Lily Star District in Bibb County.

Rev. Hawkins' spiritual journey began at the First African Baptist Church, where he was baptized by the late T. Y. Rogers Jr. In 1987, he commenced his ministry and received his license from the late Dr. William E. Pitts. Ordination followed, conducted by the late Dr. James O. Ellis of the First African Baptist Church. Notably, he became the first congregational member of the First African Baptist Church to ascend to the role of pastor. Rev. Hawkins also served as interim pastor, alongside the late Rev. Richard Dubose Adams.

Acknowledging his outstanding community service, Rev. Hawkins received the "Citizens for Action Award" in 2009 from Pickens County. In 2022, his dedication to the community, particularly through the PRO (Pastors Reaching Out) initiative, earned him a Chief Award from the Tuscaloosa Police Department, presented by Deputy Chief Sebo.

 “Black History has many rich roots in Alabama. There have been many pivotal and fundamental events that took place right here. It is important to learn about and continue educating our youth on the part our state has played in furthering the civil rights movement and how instrumental African American contributions have been to the very fabric of American history itself”.

As an active community volunteer, Rev. Hawkins contributes his time to the Community Soup Bowl, Habitat for Humanity, and Caring Days Adult Day Care Center. Recently appointed as "Volunteer Pastoral Consultant" at Caring Days, he continues to make meaningful contributions.

During his tenure as pastor of Dancy First Baptist Church in Pickens County and Pleasant Sabine Baptist Church in Bibb County, both congregations faced the challenges of the 2006 arson spree targeting predominantly black churches. Rev. Hawkins served as pastor of these churches for 15 and 8 years, respectively.

Presently, Rev. Hawkins has served as the Pastor of Dry Creek Baptist Church in Fosters, Alabama, for the past 4 years.

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2023 Black History Makers of Alabama

2022 Black History Makers of Alabama

Gallery Credit: Mary K

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