Servant Pastor

Senior Pastor


Ralph  Basui Watkins

Pastor, Wheat Street Baptist Church, Atlanta Georgia

The Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth

Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur Georgia



AA, American River Junior College

BA, California State University at Sacramento

MA, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

MFA, Savannah College of Art and Design

DMin, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

PhD, University of Pittsburgh


Biographical Information:

Ralph Watkins is  the Pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church and the Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Seminary. His work focuses on building bridges between young adults and the church in order to develop future leaders for the twenty-first century church.  As a scholar, professional photographer, pastor, sought after speaker and workshop leader Dr.  Watkins seeks to help the churches live into the new networked world.


With over 20 years of pastoral, teaching, and administrative experience, Watkins is an active teaching scholar with over 250 publications and conference presentations to his credit.  He is the author of The Future of the African American Church  (co-authored with Justin West) (2014),  Hip-Hop Redemption: Finding God in the Rhythm and the Rhyme (2011), Leading Your African American Church Through Pastoral Transition (2010), From Jay-Z to Jesus: Reaching and Teaching Young Adults in the Black Church (co-authored with Benjamin Stephens) (2008),  The Gospel Remix: Reaching the Hip Hop Generation (2007),  and I Ain’t Afraid to Speak My Mind (2003). He is presently working on his next book with Eerdmans Press entitled Africana Theology: The Re-Radicalization of Black Theology.


Dr. Watkins is the host of the television show Talk it Out with Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins a show that discusses issues of faith and social justice and his preaching ministry is the featured on the Love Out Loud Broadcast, both shows air on Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Network. He is also the producer / director of two full length feature documentaries:  She Is The Pastor  (2012) and  Our Journey to Palestine: A Story of the 43rd Delegation of Interfaith Peace Builders  (2013).  He is presently working on his new documentary Africana Theology and the Roots of Our Faith:  A Journey Through Egypt.


In recent years, Watkins has received a Governor’s Teaching Fellowship, Lilly Teaching Fellowship, Fulbright Hayes Fellowship for study in Ghana, a Wabash Teaching Fellowship, and various awards and grants to study the African roots of African American theology in Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Ghana.


Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching:

Evangelism, church growth, congregational formation, Africana theology / Black theology, hip-hop culture and visual storytelling



He has been married to Dr. Vanessa C. Watkins since June 21, 1982 and they have three adult children.

BOOKS BY: Rev. Ralph Basui Watkins

Click On Book To Purchase

Previous Pastors

Let their names be spoken with reverence and appreciation:


Reverend Andrew Jackson (1869-1874)


Reverend William H. Tillman (1875-1897)


Reverend Peter James Bryant (1898-1929)


Reverend J. Raymond Henderson (1930-1937)


Reverend Dr.William Holmes Borders, Sr. (1937-1988)


Reverend Dr. Michael Neely Harris (1989 - 2015 )

Mailing Address:

18 Williams Holmes Borders Drive,

Atlanta, GA 30312


(404) 659-4328


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Service Times


9:15am – 10:15am - The Church in Study

10:15am – 10:30am - The Prayer and Praise Period

10:30 am   - The Call to Worship