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

Shumake, William Thomas [W. T.]

(born: August 29, 1926  -  died: August 11, 2022) 

This entry was written and submitted by Juanita L. White with input from Gayle Shumake Graham and Rev. Erich V. Shumake, a nephew, all from Louisville, KY.

William T. Shumake, one of nine children, was the son of Rev. Albert Harris [A. H.] and Susie B. Ashby Shumake of Louisville, KY. Rev. A. H. Shumake served for 27 years as pastor of the First Virginia Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville. In 1958, his son William became pastor of the Community Missionary Baptist Church, serving there for 64 years. He holds the distinction, as of 2022, of being the longest continuously serving pastor at the same church in Louisville. In 1982, he and his wife, Doris Harbin Shumake, a licensed embalmer, founded the W. T. Shumake & Daughters Funeral Home. Their daughters are Gayle Shumake Graham and Sharon Shumake Adams. 

Rev. William T. Shumake was a WWII U.S. Navy veteran. Shumake Court, a street in Louisville's Newburg community, was named in his honor. Throughout his life, he received many awards and accolades for his mentorship, community activism, advocacy for the needy, and spreading the gospel. At the age of 92, he was the recipient of a Gold Standard Award for leadership through the University of Louisville's program about aging.


First Virginia Avenue Missionary Baptist Church - fvambc (Church History).

Program Brochure - 7th Annual Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging - 2018 Award Luncheon - University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging. See also "U of L's Optimal Aging Institute to be renamed after receiving major gift" by Makayla Ballman, a WAVE 3 website.

Community Missionary Baptist Church - Rev. W. T. Shumake's 64th pastor's Anniversary (printed program, April 24, 2022).

Rev. William Thomas Shumake - obituary at W. T. Shumake and Daughters Funeral Home website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Shumake, William Thomas [W. T.],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-19 15:02:09