People to Know

Rev. Danita Waller-Paige

Senior Pastor, Geyer Springs United Methodist Church & St. Andrew United Methodist Church

Rev. Danita Waller-Paige is a native of Little Rock Arkansas where she attended public schools. She is the proud mother of Leah Paige age 18.

A graduate of Philander Smith College with a degree in Organizational Management, she has sung in choirs and groups since the age of seven. A member of the National Gospel Workshop of America, Danita sung with the Philander Smith Collegiate Choir where she served as Student Conductor. During her matriculation at Philander, she had the pleasure to perform the famous “Amen” with the late great African American composer and actor Jester Hariston.  For more than 20 years she has sung with a local gospel group Triumphant!. Danita served as the Worship and Music leader for the National Black Clergy Women’s Conference (UMC), the past four sessions of the National Youth Harambee (UMC), and the Worship and Music leader for many years with the National Black Methodists for Church Renewal Convention. As a singer, she has also shared the stage with many recording artists such Michael Bolton, Jennifer Holiday, Dr. Bobby Jones, Karen Clark-Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Douglas Miller, Gaye Arbukle, Gerald Thompson, and many others. 

A founding member of Datule’ Artist Collective, Danita specializes in leading ecumenical workshops in blending gospel and contemporary music in order to reach youth and young adults with the message of Jesus Christ. She has preached, led worship, and served as a clinician for workshops for: the Christian Methodist Episcopal District in Little Rock, Fellowship Bible Church, Antioch Full Gospel Church, several Baptist and United Methodist Churches.  Danita has worked with Mission U (formerly known as School of Christian Mission) since 2003 where she has served as Jr High, High School, Music Leader and Adult Study leader. She has most recently served on the national level as a Regional School facilitator for the mission study on Covenant Communities and as a result, has served as a study leader in different district schools throughout the country. She is also a radio personality, affectionately known as, “Pastor Dee” on the JC Loves’ Morning Show on joynetradio.com.

Some of the recent honors Pastor Paige has achieved are the Humanitarian Award in the field of Religion from Designing Women’s Ministry – 2016, and the Distinguished Young Alumni Award in the field of Religion from Philander Smith College 2016. She is a gifted biblical preacher/teacher who is currently furthering her knowledge at Memphis Theological Seminary as she works toward a Master of Divinity. A passionate worshipper and lover of the Gospel, Waller-Paige believes that all things are possible in Christ Jesus and has adopted the quote of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

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Rev. Dr. Phillip L. Pointer, Sr.

Senior Pastor, St. Mark Baptist Church

Dr. Phillip L. Pointer, Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Saint Mark Baptist Church, one of the largest Baptist churches in the state of Arkansas. Raised in the Greater Washington D.C. area, Pastor Pointer would become a fourth generation Baptist pastor, coming from a dual line of Baptist pastors that runs on both sides of his family. He accepted the divine call to preach at the age of twelve and was provided ample opportunity to gain experience preaching the Gospel under the direct mentorship of his father. Over the years, Pastor Pointer developed a particular passion for empowering God’s people to develop a deep understanding and application of the biblical text.

Having now served as a Senior Pastor for 15 years, Pastor Pointer’s journey as a pastor began in October 2002 with an assignment at St. John Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. After three years, in October 2005, he led the merger between St. John Baptist Church and Providence Baptist Church. This historical consummation formed the Providence St. John Baptist Church. During his tenure there, Pastor Pointer transitioned the traditional congregation to a progressive place of worship. He cultivated a style that was Bible-based and Holy Spirit-guided yet retained the essential historical elements of Baptist polity and beliefs. In conjunction with fostering the spiritual growth and advancement of St. John, Pastor Pointer also earned a Master of Divinity Degree with honors from The Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.

After ten rewarding years of leadership at St. John, Pastor Pointer received his next call from God that brought him to his current assignment at Saint Mark Baptist Church. Since his arrival, he has taken the congregation to new heights in the area of contextual understanding of God’s Word all while fostering the membership’s consistent spiritual growth and maturity. Concurrently, in December 2014, Pastor Pointer earned a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. His doctoral study emphasis was “Preaching Prophetically in a Postmodern Culture: Communicating with Contemporary Audiences.”

Pastor Pointer has grown the Saint Mark ministry by leaps and bounds, achieving major installments of community outreach offerings such as job fairs, financial stewardship classes, record expungement seminars, and food drives. He also led a campaign for the Children & Youth Center, a three-level building equipped with the latest technology to best educate and spiritually nurture our youth. In addition, Pastor Pointer led the formation of the Tendaji Community Development Corporation, which provides outreach programs and initiatives that support the entire Little Rock community such as Program IMPACT, an after-school program for elementary students, and Reclaiming Scholars, an alternative suspension program for middle and high school students.

Dr. Pointer resides in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife, Keya, and their three children: Gabriela, Phillip, Jr., and Elijah.

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Dr. Dwight Demone Townsend

Senior Pastor, Longley Baptist Church

Dr. Dwight Demone Townsend is the anointed pastor of the Longley Baptist Church of Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born and raised in a rough neighborhood in East Little Rock, Arkansas. He and his eleven brothers and sisters had to overcome many obstacles and hardships. Despite the adversities that he encountered, Pastor Townsend did not ignore the calling on his life. He accepted his ministry calling at the age of 18. Within a year he was licensed and ordained. In 1996 he was called to serve as pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Four years later, he went on to serve as pastor of Greater Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Van Buren, Arkansas. Both congregations experienced phenomenal growth, numerically, financially and most importantly spiritually.

Pastor Townsend is a 1993 graduate of Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas. He holds an Associate, Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Theology from Slidell Baptist Seminary. As well as a Masters of Theology and Doctor of Ministry from Andersonville Theological Seminary.

Pastor Townsend is a gifted preacher, teacher and dedicated community servant. He is actively involved in the Union District Baptist Association, where he serves as 2nd Vice Moderator. He is president of the Young Pastors & Ministers Division of the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention of Arkansas and was elected as Trustee Board member in 2011.  He is the past Moderator of the Antioch Consolidated Baptist Association. 

In addition to his district work he also serves his community as he has been appointed to the AR State Board of Health by Gov. Mike Beebe. He has served as partnering pastor of the Four Church Fellowship, a local fellowship of churches purposed to strengthening the body of Christ through worship and educational services. 

Pastor Townsend came to Longley in May 2005. Since coming to Longley the church has experienced phenomenal growth in the areas of Ministry, Evangelism, Education as well as Finances. Physically Longley has undergone many improvements to its structure as well. Longley has grown from a membership of 900 to over 2700 to the glory of God and is vastly becoming a beacon light in the Southwest Little Rock area.  Pastor Townsend has a heart for reaching the lost and strengthening the saved through expository preaching and intensive bible study classes. He is affectionately referred to as, “The Quiet Storm”, by his colleagues. In 2009 Pastor Townsend recorded his first CD and uses his gift of song to further his call to the ministry.

Pastor Townsend is the proud father of two adult children: Dacimber and D.J.

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Rev. Dr. George Lewis Parks, Jr.

Senior Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church

The Reverend Dr. George Lewis Parks, Jr. was born April 20th in Nashville, Tennessee to Rev. George L. Parks, Sr. and Sis Kay Ramona Parks. He and his family relocated to Dayton, Ohio and later moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Parks graduated from Lutheran High School-East in Cleveland, OH, where he served as the Senior Class President. He went on to pursue his undergraduate studies at the American Baptist College in Nashville, TN where he was awarded the MLK Scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies/Pastoral Studies.

Dr. Parks’ thirst for spiritual growth led him to return to school and he earned his Masters of Divinity degree from Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC. There, he was awarded the prestigious J. H. Jackson Award for Promise in Pastoral Excellence. His sermon, “Black and Proud” has been published in the African American Pulpit journal.

In May 2016, he earned his Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching from Union University School of Theology and Missions.

Dr. Parks’ spiritual journey began under the tutelage of his father who served as Pastor of the New Pilgrim Baptist Church in Dayton, OH where he confessed his hope in Christ. He accepted his call to proclaim the Word of God on January 25, 1998 and preached his initial sermon on March 22, 1998 in Cleveland, OH at the Sacrificial Baptist Church where his father presently serves as Pastor.

God has given Dr. Parks a diversity of assignments throughout his ministerial career. In Nashville he joined Watson Grove Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Curtis W. Goodwin, Sr. While at Watson Grove, he was an Associate Minister and the Youth Director. In Washington, D.C., he united with Meridian Hill Baptist Church. There, he was ordained on November 25, 2007 under the leadership of Pastor Calvin E. Cage, Sr. He later served as an Assistant Pastor.

God has shown His favor and anointing on Dr. Parks by allowing him to preach God’s word throughout the country, and by placing kind-hearted Pastors in his path. In return, Dr. Parks opens doors for other ministers, including his younger brother Jeremiah.

Following God’s voice, Dr. Parks accepted the call to become the seventeenth Pastor of Riverside Missionary Baptist Church in October 2008. He preached his first sermon as Pastor of the church on Sunday November 16, 2008. He completed his Pastoral assignment to this body in March 2015 as God reassigned him to serve as the Senior Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Arkansas with campuses in North Little Rock and Conway. He preached his first sermon on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

Dr. Parks continues to build on the Legacy and Vision of the New Hope Baptist Church and our future continues to shine as the church moves into a new season of Building Faith and Sharing Love. Dr. Parks is married to the former Joy Marie Dailey. He is the proud father of George L. Parks, III (“Trey”), Genesis, and twins, Gabriel and Grayson.

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