Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jim Walker

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.


Jeff said...

We have lost a giant on earth and God has gained an angel in Heaven. Jim encouraged me tremendously and his example, his compassion, his love will remain with us in his absence. He was a kind and gentle man. He was a servant. You could easily see God working through Jim and he will be sorely missed among us but I rejoice because I know Jim is now with his Savior.

Kyle R. said...

I couldn't agree with Jeff more than I do. The descriptors for Jim are entirely accurate. Compassionate and gentle-- truly he was. A true servant.

Jim was such an example to me in his perseverence because even in his struggle with his illnesses, he could have easily resigned his role as elder and focused on his sickness. He did not. And I can't put into words what that means to me as example for me (and for all of us).

When he was absolutely able, he was there-- at the assembly, at elders' meetings, doing things shepherds do-- looking after the sheep.

Thin, frail, and weak during his latter days in the body; but a spiritual giant letting God use his frailty to the end of his earthly, physical life.

Velda can rest some now. All the family can find comfort because Jim's Redeemer lives!

randy said...

I recall sitting in a hospital in Denton a couple of years ago with a few brothers and some of Jim's family and being told the condition he was experiencing at the time was almost inevitably fatal. With a man such as Jim, I can't help but think God preserved him for the past couple of years for a purpose. I don't pretend to know God's purpose for anyone's life. But perhaps Jim's encouragement to me and others as well as his example were part of it.

"How the mighty have fallen!