Dr. Walter V. Howard Jr.

Founder and Senior Pastor

Dr. Walter V. Howard, Jr. was born in Mooresville, North Carolina and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He attended the public schools of Rowan County and graduated from south Rowan High School in 1971. He began his college education at North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC in 1971.  In 1973 he enlisted in the US Air Force and served his country at home and abroad (Seoul, North Korea).  After serving his country with honor, he continued his education and training by attending Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana where he graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of General Studies degree with a focus in communications.  He accepted the call to ministry on November 7, 1982 while a member of St. Mary AME Church, Shreveport, La. under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Earl A. James. He enrolled in the Turner Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia in 1984 and received his Master of Divinity degree with a focus on New Testament studies in 1987. That same year he received certification in Gerontology from Georgia State University. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Turner Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in 1995 where he graduated with honors. He was inducted into Theta Phi (an International Fraternity of Theological Scholars) in 1995. His doctoral dissertation is entitled “Establishing and Maintaining an Effective Class Leader System in Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.” He has an associate degree in Geospatial Technology from Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC.

He has been active in civic and community affairs serving on numerous boards and organizations including the board of the Woods at Coulwood Neighborhood Association and local PTSA boards. He served as Site Chairman of the Interdenominational Theological Center Certificate of Theology Program in Wilmington, NC.  

Dr. Howard served the African Methodist Episcopal Church in many capacities and on all levels. He served as Assistant Secretary, Secretary, Instructor, Dean and Chairman of the Board of Examiners and Conference Trustee in the North Carolina Conference. He also served as Instructor and Secretary of the Board of Examiners and Conference Trustee in the Western North Carolina Conference.  He was elected to serve as delegate to the General Conference of the AME Church in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. He was honored during the 2003 Turner Seminary Founder’s Day celebration with the Connectional Pastor’s Award.

Dr. Howard has pastored the following churches: Galatia AME Church, Nashville, NC from 1987-1990; St. Phillip AME Church, Wilmington, NC from 1990-1993; Allen Chapel AME Church, Jackson, NC from 1993-1996; Mt. Zion AME Church, Greensboro, NC from 1996-1997; Greater Bethel AME Church, Charlotte, NC from 1997-2007.  In 2007, Dr. Howard founded Howard International Fellowship and Destiny Church where he serves as the Senior Pastor.

He is married to the former Marion Denese Cotton, the Executive Pastor at Destiny Church, Charlotte, North Carolina.  They have three sons, Rev. Steven L. Howard Associate Pastor of Destiny Church (Rev. Sharrell N. Howard), William E. Howard and Michael E. Howard( Candice Howard).  He is the very proud grandfather of five grandchildren: Samuel James Howard, Sydney Denise Howard, Michael Edward Howard, Jr., Emery Alicia Howard, and Silas Alexander Howard.