Our Revered Reverend, Pastor Raynarldo Henderson

Raynarldo M. Henderson is the Pastor at Washington Street Baptist Church in Paducah where he will be celebrating 25 years this September. He’s been married to the love of his life for 29 years and has three children. This blessed minister was born in a Chicago police squad car after his mother went into labor prematurely! We honored to iMeet this interesting man of God.

Welcome to iMeet Pastor Henderson. Tell us about yourself…

I was born and raised in Chicago, on January 28, 1962. I was the youngest, and the only boy, of three children. My oldest sister, my biological father and my mother are deceased. My mother passed away in November 2016. 

I was born in a squad car prematurely. It was one of Chicago’s cold winters and nobody else was home, so my mother took off walking. She didn’t quite make it to the hospital…

I attended Chicago Public Schools before going to Judson College in Elgin, Illinois (BA in Communications). Then I went to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville where I got my Masters of Divinity; M.Div.) 

Tell us about your family…

I have been married for 29 years to the former Cherri Adams. We have three adult children: Raiona, Adam and Lauren. Raiona just completed her first year of teaching at Paducah Middle School.  Our middle child, Adam, is a general manager for Sprint in Louisville and Lauren will graduate from University of Louisville in December with a Bachelor’s in Communications.

Any furry members of the family?

We have a lab mix by the name of Lailah that costs just as much as the children! 

Your name is unique. Is there any history behind it?

My mom just wanted a different spelling so she added an “R”, which gives it a “narl” in the pronunciation.

Tell us a little about Washington Street Baptist Church…

Washington Street is the oldest black church in western Kentucky. It was organized from the congregation of Paducah’s First Baptist Church. Our history reads that “the slaves were making too much noise from the balcony in worship and were given their letters of dismissal to start their own church”.  Washington Street is the mother church for many of the African American churches in Paducah.

Tell about your role as pastor there…

I am the 17th pastor in the 162 year history of Washington Street Church.  I arrived on the ministry field in 1992. In September the church will celebrate my 25th year anniversary.

What is the best part of your job? What’s the hardest?

I know this sounds like the “spiritual” answer, but the best part of my job is when I see members maturing into real disciples. The hardest part of the job is hospital visits and funerals.

What is your favorite scripture?

My favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-7. This passage is significant because my entire journey is a faith walk. Nothing happens in this journey without complete trust and surrender. 

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received?

I have actually received a lot of good advice over the years. One piece of advice that stands out is, “Start out the way you want to end up” and, “Preach the uncompromising word and love the people”. 

Any travel plans this summer?

I don’t have any travel plans for the year, except teaching and/or preaching engagements.

Describe your perfect day…

My perfect day is spent gardening and planting my flowers.

Thank you so much for being our iMeet this week, Pastor Henderson. We wish you many more successful years at Washington Baptist.