Shaw University will hold its 2023 Baccalaureate Service on Friday, May 12. The Senior Bell Ceremony at the Bell Tower will begin at 8:45 a.m., and official Baccalaureate Services begin at 9:30 a.m. The service will be held on campus in the Thomas J. Boyd Chapel featuring guest speaker and two-time Shaw alumnus Reverend Douglas Williams, III.
Reverend Douglas L. Williams, III is a native of New Jersey and the 5th Senior Pastor of the historic Zion Hill Baptist Church of Newark. His journey into ministry began in May of 2007 when he preached his initial sermon under the tutelage of Reverend Dr. Kenneth L. Saunders, Sr. Williams is a 2008 graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Philosophy. He later returned to Shaw Divinity School on a Presidential Scholarship, where he earned his Master of Arts in Christian Education in 2021. He is also the inaugural recipient of the C.T. Vivian Scholarship and Fellowship in Leadership and Social Justice. While a student at Shaw Divinity School, he served as Youth Pastor at Pleasant Union Christian Church and Saint John AME Church, both located in Raleigh. On May 1, 2011, Williams was installed as Senior Pastor of Zion Hill, becoming successor to the late Reverend Dr. J.R. Stanford.