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Dr. Dennis W. Bishop has served as Senior Pastor of First Waughtown Baptist Church since 1983. Accepting the call to preach at age 13, Pastor Bishop became known as the boy preacher and has spent nearly five decades spreading the gospel throughout the East Coast of the United States.


Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to the late Hazel Bishop and Wallace Love, Dennis Bishop graduated from R. J. Reynolds High School and attended Piedmont Bible College. In 1975, he became assistant pastor of (then) Waughtown Baptist Church, under the leadership and tutelage of Senior Pastor E. L. Grant. After five years, he was called to

pastor New Bethel Baptist Church in Mocksville, NC, where he served faithfully and fervently for three years. In 1983, Waughtown Baptist invited Pastor Bishop to return to lead the congregation when Pastor Grant retired. Pastor Bishop came with a vision for a comprehensive ministry to address the varied needs of the congregation and a burning commitment to be a shepherd to the church membership and the broader community. 


Today, First Waughtown Baptist Church – the name was changed in 1989 to reflect its founding before that of a nearby church of the same name – offers two-morning services each Sunday and a wide spectrum of ministries and activities for all ages of its more than 600 members. Notably, Pastor Bishop is committed to supporting and encouraging his members to pursue higher education, launching two scholarships for high school seniors and devoting at least two weeks each fall since 2003 to travel thousands of miles visiting every member of his flock who is enrolled in a college or university.


With a genuine heart for people, Pastor Bishop is a volunteer chaplain for Novant Forsyth Medical Center, a mentor for students at R. J. Reynolds High School, and a member of the Board of Trustees at Piedmont International University and United Cornerstone University among many other past and current efforts. Because of his commitment to education, he has received recognition from news media and community organizations, and the Winston-Salem chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc.  In recognition of the depth and breadth of his leadership and ministry services, Pastor Bishop received the honorary degree Doctor of Divinity from United Cornerstone University in 2017.  


In May 2018 Pastor Bishop was recognized by Black Business Ink Magazine as one of the “50 Most Influential African Americans in the Piedmont Triad”. As recently as September 2023, Pastor Bishop was featured on the cover of Black Business Ink Magazine as “A Good Shepherd – Boy Preacher Not Slowing Down After Four Decades”. The feature commemorated Pastor Bishop’s 40 years of pastoring First Waughtown Baptist Church and 55 years in ministry.


Pastor Dennis W. Bishop is the father of four adult children, grandfather of seven, and Papa Dennis to scores of young people he has mentored in his work for the Lord. He is a pastor, a shepherd, a friend, a listening ear, and a devout man of God. The primary structure of First Waughtown Baptist Church bears the name D. W. Bishop Full Life Center, but its namesake takes no credit for his accomplishments or accolades. Rather, he lives by the mantra……..


To God Be the Glory for the Things He has Done!

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