UPDATE 4/27/23 9:33 a.m.: Zeph Baker made his first court appearance at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning in Cobb County.

Baker did not have an attorney present at this hearing. A clerk with the court system says this is commonly the case with first-appearance hearings in Cobb County.

A bond was set at $25,000 for Baker, which he posted. Baker’s case has been bound over to Superior Court.

Baker does not have any follow-up dates with Cobb County Magistrate Court at this time.

UPDATE 4/26/23 11:01 am.: Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman told WRBL this morning that Baker was taken back to Cobb County around 1:30 p.m. on April 25.

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A well-known political candidate and former pastor in Columbus, Zephaniah Baker, better known as Zeph Baker, has been arrested and is facing felony charges.

The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office Drug, Gang and Fugitive Bureau, along with the U.S. Marshals, arrested Baker early Saturday morning following a search warrant. Sheriff Greg Countryman says Baker had active warrants issued by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office for the following charges:

  • Felony – Kidnapping
  • Felony – Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime
  • Felony – Aggravated Assault Disfigure
  • Misdemeanor – Battery (Family Violence Act)
  • Misdemeanor – Cruelty to Children, Third Degree

Sheriff Countryman says Baker was transported to the Muscogee County Jail without incident where he is waiting to be transported back to Cobb County.

Baker has run a group home for youth and his own foundation. He once served as Pastor of his father’s church in Columbus.

Baker was perennial candidate for public office, but never elected, having run in 2008 unsuccessfully against State Representative Calvin Smyre for the District 135 seat.

Baker was also candidate for mayor of Columbus 3 times, in 2010, 2014, and 2018.

He’s also run for City Council in District 1.

In 2022, he lost to Attorney Teddy Reese in a bid to replace Calvin Smyre in the Georgia House of Representatives District 140 seat after Smyre was tapped for an ambassador’s post. 

This case was worked in conjunction with the FBI, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Cobb County Police Department, Russell County Sheriff’s Office, and Phenix City Police Department.

Stay with WRBL.com for updates on this developing story.