Last night at about 9:30, I received a call I have been dreading for some time. My dear brother in Christ and elder, Jim Walker, had passed away.
Jim was just a good man. Down to earth. A lover of people. A unifier. A peaceMAKER. His presence in the Decatur Church is evident, and will continue to be for years to come.
I first met Jim nearly two years ago. I was being considered for the pulpit job here in Decatur. Beverly and I had met on a Thursday night with the search committee, and been very impressed with them. The next night, I met alone with the elders. At that point, it just did not seem like things were going to work.
I was also interviewing with a church in East Texas. On Sunday night, we were eating with a couple of their elders when I received a phone call. I didn't take it at that time, and so the caller left a message. It was Jim.
The next morning, I was playing golf when I again received a call. It was Jim. He said, "Rick, we've just got to get together again and work this out. We've just got to." So, we met again that night. And I left Decatur with an offer.
To think that I might not be here if not for Jim. I didn't get to know him long, and he has been sick for a while. But I learned a lot from this man about what is really important.
My prayers are with Jim's precious wife, Velda as well as his children, Steve and Sara and their families. The Decatur church joins them in mourning.