Walter Solomon is the new senior pastor at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Anniston. His installation will be on March 4, and the public is invited to attend. Sunday school begins at 9:15 a.m., the Sunday morning service will be at 10:45 a.m. followed by lunch, and the installation will begin at 3 p.m.
What is your professional background?
My background professionally is in pharmacy and pharmacy technology. I attended the University of West Alabama for most of my college education, but I completed my degree in business management at Miles College. I also have a masters degree in counseling from the University of West Alabama and a doctorate in biblical counseling from Andersonville Theological Seminary. I have pastored for the last 22 years in Birmingham at one church, Mount Moriah Baptist Church. I ended my service there at the end of 2017, and I started fresh at Bethel on the first Sunday of this year. I am bivocational; I work as a computer analyst at the University of Alabama at Birmingham doing what is called pharmacy informatics.
How did you move to working in a pharmacy?
When I moved back to Birmingham, I needed a job, and I started as a pharmacy technician in the hospital. Pharmacy technicians have the job of doing most of the work before the pharmacist comes by to check it and say it is good to go. Over time, I developed a love of computers; this was in the early ’90s. I became the technology person for the pharmacy department at UAB, and one thing led to another. With my business background, I was led into management, and I became the manager over all of the technical staff of central pharmacy at UAB, and did that for about 12 years before my current job as an IT professional.
How did you get into the ministry?
I grew up in the church; my father pastored the church I grew up in, and my grandfather was one of the founding members and a deacon of the church. My freshman year in college, I felt the call of God on my life to preach, and I did as most preachers do: ignored it for several years (laughter). By nature, I am a very quiet person and do not do well with public speaking, so I could not understand why the Lord was calling me into this ministry. Shortly after I got married in 1990, the Lord began to really impress upon my spirit that there was a greater ministry for me in the church, and in January of 1991, I preached my initial sermon. I became a youth pastor at a church in Birmingham for three years, then I was called to Mount Moriah Baptist Church. I have done this most of my adult life.
Did your father or grandfather influence you to join the ministry?
My father did everything he could to make sure I did not become a part of the ministry. He saw the stressors of ministry on the person and the family. My mother and father both knew early on that there was something the Lord would have me to do, but I do not think either of them wanted that kind of stress on my life.
Why did you leave your first pastorate?
Bethel is my second pastorate at what some would say is late in life; I am 51 years old. I did everything I felt the Lord called me to do at Mount Moriah. I left a wonderful church that I was the first pastor of, and it was a difficult decision, but I felt the call of God to come, and it has really been a wonderful thing.
Faith Dorn is a freelance writer in Anniston. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.