Dr. Harshaw has been committed to the Christian ministry of teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ for more than four decades. He has established a work ethic that speaks to the importance of his ultimate career objective and personal goal, which is to become a servant of God in the transformative ministry of spiritual formation, with special focus upon the power of prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Harshaw has been a student of the Bible and systematic theology for more than four decades earning the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees in Theology, Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) with special studies in Philosophy of Religion and Theology, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. His research has centered upon the theologies of Friedrich Schleiermacher and Howard Thurman. His quest for linking theological studies with community and world mission led him to travel the globe with this focus including serving as Area Director Africa, Europe and the Middle East with International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches USA, Inc. and Visiting Research Fellow, and the Center for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, Edinburgh University, Scotland.
He has had the privilege of serving as Adjunct and Visiting Professor at Shaw University Divinity School, Raleigh, NC, Campbell University Divinity School, Buies Creek, NC, The Apex School of Theology, Durham, NC and the Palmer Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA.
His most recent publications are “The Potential for New Selfhood and New Community in Schleiermacher’s Soliloquies,” Ann Arbor: ProQuest, 2015, and “Howard Thurman’s Spirituality and the Beloved Community”, Schleiermacher’s Influence on American Thought and Religious Life, 1835-1920, Vol. 2, Ed. By Jeffrey A. Wilcox, Terrence N. Tice and Catherine L. Kelsey, Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2014.
Dr. Harshaw began his tenure as the 10th Pastor of First Baptist Church, Raleigh, on September 1, 1996. He has led the congregation in fulfilling the vision of being, “A Point of Contact for the Kingdom of God”, which stresses kingdom living, the life of prayer, discipleship, and spiritual renewal with a local and global witness for Christ.
Dr. Harshaw has been blessed with a beautiful family. At his side in ministry is the First Lady of First Baptist Church, Mrs. Sharon Denise Stringer Harshaw, originally of New Orleans, LA, who has walked with him since 1980. Three children, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law and five grandchildren have enriched their lives.