Reverend Wallis C. Baxter III, PhD serves as the Senior Pastor of the Second Baptist Church (formerly of Southwest DC) in District Heights, MD. He is an adjunct professor of African American Literature at Georgetown University and an Academic Research Fellow at the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. He received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morehouse College in 2006, majoring in English. He received the Master of Divinity Degree from Duke Divinity School in 2009 and a PhD in African American Literature from Howard University in 2017. He is author of Phillis Wheatley as Prophetic Poet: You Must Be Born Again (January 2022). Additionally, he is co-editing a series of sermons delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, Rev. Baxter serves as a Board Member with both the Baptist Convention of DC and Vicinity and the DC Baptist Convention. He is President of the Congress of Christian Education for the Eastern Region of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, President of the Progressive Baptist Convention of Maryland, immediate past President of the Langston Hughes Society, and founding President of Helping Hands of Maryland CDC, Inc. He is married to Dr. Shayla Atkins Baxter, and they are the parents of one son, Elijah.