The pastor of a Columbia church and a chaplain for local police has been charged with criminal domestic violence.
Michael Henry Baker, 55, was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on Wednesday and charged with third-degree criminal domestic violence.
Baker is the pastor of Greater St. Luke Baptist Church on Farrow Road. He served as a chaplain for both the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Columbia Police Department but, since his charge, has been relieved of his duties by both agencies, spokespeople said.
Baker’s charge comes after an officer responded to two incidents within the past week between Baker and his wife, according to incident reports provided by the sheriff’s department.
On March 16, a deputy responded to the couple’s home on Hunt Club Road just before 10 p.m. According to the report, Baker’s wife said he was keeping her phone from her. When his wife repeatedly asked him to give it to her, he pushed her to the floor twice, causing her to hit her head and injure her hand, she told the officer.
His wife went to a neighbor’s house to call 911 and later filled out a criminal domestic violence statement but “didn’t want Mr. Baker to go to jail,” the report said.
And on March 20, a deputy again arrived at the home, where Baker was sitting in his wife’s car preventing her from leaving, according to the incident report. His wife said she had come to pick up some of her belongings and leave but Baker wouldn’t let her. She also said that Baker had changed the locks on the doors and hadn’t given her a new key to the house, the report said.
Baker’s bio on Greater St. Luke Baptist’s website states:
Pastor Michael H. Baker delivers a profound impact to the Kingdom of God. He inherently inspires and insistently motivates others to operate in a spirit of excellence, while using their gifts and talents for the Glory of God.
Pastor Baker received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida Theological Seminary and has attended Oxford University in England in pursuit of obtaining a Masters of Divinity.
A true Man of God, Pastor Baker’s national ministry and international involvement are consistent in a community based work that reaches the heart of God’s people. Presently, he is the Senior Pastor of the Greater St. Luke Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the Executive Director of the Light of The World Economic Community Development Corporation. This non-profit corporation assists in sponsoring and promoting religious, educational and community events.
Since advancing to South Carolina, this visionary leader is involved with a wide variety of organizations including, but not limited to, the NAACP, The South Carolina Baptist Congress of Christian Education, co-founder of The Midlands Baptist Ministerial Alliance, Richland County Sheriff’s Department Chaplains Division and former member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Columbia. He is the founder of the Annual Pastor’s Cup Golf Tournament and serves on the Executive Board of the National Action Network under the leadership of Reverend Al Sharpton and is a co-sponsor of the A&M Leadership Conference.
Pastor Baker has a zest and zeal for our youth and the community. He can be quoted in saying “My concern is for our children. Pastor Baker founded the Greater Columbia Holistic Enrichment Development Summer Program that offers academic, music and computer training. Pastor Baker also served as the Chairman for the first Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance City Wide Revival. This revival brought people of all denominations together as well as helped to eradicate the debt of two families victimized by gang violence. As a community leader, every year a portion of the proceeds from the Pastor’s Cup Golf Tournament are used to educate and empower the homeless in our community.
His passion for empowerment and education birthed numerous classes at Greater St. Luke Baptist Church. Various classes on Christian Education are offered in Greater St. Luke’s new state of the art 2.5 million dollar M. L. Smith Community Development Center.
Pastor Baker is a nationally known Evangelist and the renowned Author of “How to Build Without Borrowing”, which he presently teaches as a course of study during the National Baptist Convention’s Congress of Christian Education. Pastor Baker has served on the National Baptist Convention’s Late Night Service Staff. He is a lecturer and a former instructor in the Gethsemane Baptist Association.
Most importantly, Pastor Baker is a family man, a native of Jacksonville, Florida and the son of the late Reverend Dr. and Mrs. Henry L. Baker. He is married to the former Min. Darlene Hunter, a devoted father to Michael and Michelle and a loving grandfather of two grandchildren.