Pastor Dennis W. Bishop receives honorary doctorate

Pastor Bishop

Pastor Dennis W. Bishop  receives honorary doctorate
June 15
01:00 2017

 “I’m happy. I’m thankful.”

With those simple statements, Pastor Dennis W. Bishop, senior pastor of First Waughtown Baptist Church (FWBC), emotionally accepted congratulations from congregants gathered for the commencement ceremony where he received the Doctor of Divinity degree from United Cornerstone University (UCU). 

Dr. George Jackson, president and founder of the Thomasville theological institution conferred the honorary degree in a special service at First Waughtown on Saturday, June 3.

Deacon Marilyn Roseboro presented Pastor Bishop for the conferring of the degree, citing his nearly 50 years in the ministry, numerous awards for service to the community, and leadership of New Bethel Baptist Church in Mocksville, N.C., from 1980-1983 as well as 34 years and counting as senior pastor of First Waughtown.

Born in Winston-Salem, Dr. Bishop became known as the boy preacher when he accepted the call to ministry at 13 years old. 

He is a graduate of R. J. Reynolds High School and attended Piedmont Bible College. 

A committed community volunteer, he has been recognized by many community and professional organizations for service to the sick, the elderly, and young people.  He also serves on the trustee boards of UCU and Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem.

Dr. Bishop is the father of four adult children, the grandfather of seven, and Papa Dennis to many young people he has mentored.  First Waughtown Baptist Church is located at 838 Moravia Street in the historic Belview Community of Winston-Salem.

Dr. Jackson anointed and prayed for Pastor Bishop before draping the hood signifying the Doctor of Divinity degree. He followed with a commencement sermon titled “She Left Fingerprints” drawn from Luke 8:41-47. The Scripture tells of a woman stricken with a 12-year issue of blood who is healed after touching the tassel at the hem of Jesus’ garment. 

Pastor Bishop, too, has left fingerprints, Dr. Jackson said, on the lives of people he’s touched as a minister, pastor, humanitarian, and friend.  “You left fingerprints at the hospital praying for the sick and afflicted. You left fingerprints at the nursing home visiting people that other folks have forgotten. You left fingerprints on the school system as a mentor and driving thousands of miles every fall visiting college students.”

Giving God the glory for his achievements, Dr. Bishop recounted a series of his own sermons from 2014 based on Job 8:7: Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.  “Prophetically, I spoke it over this whole ministry, and that thing ricocheted and hit me,” he said.  He encouraged the congregation to speak the same prophesy over their own lives.

Mayor Allen Joines and State Rep. Evelyn Terry sent a formal statement of congratulations and well wishes.

In ecumenical greetings, Bishop Stephen L. Williams, pastor of Goodwill Baptist Church in Clemmons, heralded Pastor Bishop as “a general in the community.”  Pastor Bishop’s son-in-law, Min. Josephe Featherstone of Faith Community Church in Durham, called him a “mighty man of valor” and invoked God’s favor.

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