Dr. Charles Thomas Walker was born into slavery in 1858. His father died the day before he was born, and his mother died in 1866, just one year after the 13th Amendment was ratified. Despite the challenges of his childhood, C.T. Walker was determined to rise above his circumstances and use religion and education to etch out a legacy for many generations. At 15, Mr. Walker was baptized and shortly after, enrolled in the Augusta Theological Institute, housed in the basement of Springfield Baptist Church—one of the oldest Baptist Churches in the United States. After many financial hardships, Dr. Walker, at age 18, was licensed to preach. It was just a few years later that Reverend Walker became the minister of modern day Tabernacle Baptist Church which is located on his namesake, Laney-Walker Blvd. During this time, C.T. Walker also began traveling around the world.
Reverend Walker’s powerful pulpit messages were heard by black and white believers from all over the country; William Taft and John D. Rockefeller were amongst congregations that would travel to Augusta to hear his words of unity and inclusion. In 1900, Dr. Walker moved to New York City and pastored Mt. Olivet Baptist Church; under his leadership, it became the largest black church in the U.S.
RCSS honors Reverend C.T. Walker for his efforts toward unity and equality. C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School stands as a reminder of his dedication to ideals that are etched into the minds of thousands.