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      Dr. Mark Micaiah Whitaker is the third of four children born to the late Bishop James M. Whitaker (April 7, 1931 -  July 21, 2022) and Otelia McIntyre Whitaker of Portsmouth, VA and the grandson of the late Deacon Junious and Carrie Whitaker of the Lambert’s Point Community of Norfolk, VA via Scotland Neck, NC and the late Deacon Joseph and Etta McIntyre of the Mount Hermon Community of Portsmouth, VA.  He is married to Dr. Ingrid Whitaker, who serves as a Tenured Associate Professor of Sociology at Old Dominion University.  They are the proud parents of four children – James (3rd Year Law Student at North Carolina Central University; 2019 Master’s Degree graduate of Georgetown University; 2017 graduate of North Carolina A&T State University – Full Basketball Scholarship), Naomi (1st Year Ph.D. student in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, 2022 Master of Public Health Program at Emory University; 2020 graduate of East Carolina University – Full Track Scholarship, Dean’s List), Nathaniel (Senior, Morehouse College) and Rachel (Freshman, Howard University).    

     Dr. Whitaker was educated in the Portsmouth Public School System.  In 1983, he graduated 4th in his class with honors from the great Manor High School, was named the Most Valuable Basketball Player in the City of Portsmouth, Tidewater’s Most Valuable Player by the Virginian Pilot and First Team All-State Boys Basketball Team, and was elected as President of the Student Government Association.  He furthered his education at Virginia Tech where he was the recipient of a full-athletic scholarship in basketball, served as President of the Black Student Alliance, was listed as Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Virginia College Brother of the year 1987), and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Science.  In 1989, Dr. Whitaker received a Masters of Business Administration from The Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business. Moreover, in 1993, Dr. Whitaker received the Doctor of Jurisprudence (Law Degree) from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where he served as President of the Black Law Students Association in 1992 and 1993 and served on the College of Law Honor Council.  Dr. Whitaker has done further studying in the R.B. Pamplin College of Business Doctoral Program at Virginia Tech and the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union in the Masters of Divinity program.

     In 1992, Dr. Whitaker was licensed as a minister and ordained in June of 1995 at New Bethel Baptist Church in Portsmouth, VA where his father, Bishop James M. Whitaker, served as the Pastor since June of 1964 and his mother, Otelia McIntyre Whitaker, is the Minister of Music. For 25 years, Dr. Whitaker taught on the collegiate level at Virginia Tech in the R. B. Pamplin School of Business from 1993-1999 and Hampton University from 1999 – 2018 where he earned Tenure and the rank of Associate Professor of Management in the School of Business.  

     In May 2002, Dr. Whitaker was elected to the Portsmouth Public School Board as the youngest person ever elected and served until December 2014.  As a School Board Member, Dr. Whitaker served as chair of the Minority Contracting Committee and the Corporate Sponsorship Committee.  Moreover Dr. Whitaker was very instrumental in the School Board implementing a Minority and Women Business Enterprises Program, Middle School Athletics Program, Pay Equity Study, and in advocating for a culture of fairness and respect for all.

     On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, Dr. Mark and Dr. Ingrid Whitaker made history by becoming the first married couple elected to Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth School Board respectively.  They speak TRUTH TO POWER advocating for Social and Economic justice.

    Upon the passing of his father, Bishop James Marshall Whitaker on July 21, 2022, Rev. Dr. Mark M. Whitaker became the 25th Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church and the installation was celebrated on October 2, 2022.  Under the pastorate of Dr. Mark Whitaker, the church renovated the sanctuary, administrative building, old building; installed new audio/visual technology; upgraded the computer lab with 11 new computers; increased the Missions Giving to over $30,000; restructured the Missions Ministry, ordained 6 new Deacons and bestowed the honor of Deacon Emeritus on 4 Deacons; Appointed 7 new Stewards and bestowed the honor Steward-Emeritus on 8 Stewards; sponsored a Farmer's Market in the church parking lot; partnered with Portsmouth Public Schools to provide GED and Computer/Digital Learning classes in the church's computer lab; renovated the 3 townhomes and 2 single family homes for family occupancy; instituted a weekly Fellowship meal after church on Sundays; and continues to preach, teach and baptize in the name of Jesus the Christ, through the Grace God, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Dr. Mark Micaiah Whitaker is one who believes that, through Christ, we can do all things and no weapon formed against us shall prosper. To God be the GLORY!