From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Bingham, Walter D.

(born: 1921  -  died: 2006) 

In 1966, Rev. Walter D. Bingham became the first African American to lead the Kentucky Association of Christian Churches. Five years later, he became the first African American named to the top post of the Christian Church (Church of Christ) as moderator of the denomination of 1.5 million members. Bingham's first vice moderator was Mrs. H. G. Wilkes, the first woman moderator.

Bingham was minister of the Third Christian Church [now Third Central United Christian Church] in Louisville, KY. A native of Memphis, TN, he was a 1945 graduate of Talladega College and earned his divinity degree from Howard University in 1948. He taught at Jarvis Christian College and was a pastor in Oklahoma before arriving in Louisville in 1961. He was the husband of librarian Rebecca Taylor Bingham and the son of Lena and Willie Bingham.

For more see "Louisville minister heads church group," Lexington Herald, 4/21/1966, p. 1; "Born in slavery era; church elects first Black man national moderator," Lexington Herald, 10/20/1971, p. 31; and P. Burba, "Rev. Walter Bingham dies; was pioneer with Disciples of Christ," Courier Journal, 4/16/2006, News section, p. 4B.

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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Bingham, Rebecca T.
NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Lexington herald (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Stone-Campbell Movement in Kentucky

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bingham, Walter D.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-10-07 16:55:41