"Bill, be sure and explain to the folks that everything that has been done here at ASHLAND AVENUE has been the work of the Lord." These were the words of Brother Walker after he had given me permission to print his biography. And indeed it is the history of what GOD CAN DO with one life surrendered to his divine plan. From the time that God called Clarence Walker to preach at the age of fourteen, until we close the biography in 1955, it is evident that all the work accomplished was GOD DOING SOMETHING FOR HIS PEOPLE.
The great message set forth here is what God can do with a surrendered life. Clarence Walker is not a man of many degrees from men's institutions. He has not mastered the theories of philosophy, psychiatry, sociology, ontology or epistemology, but he has been, and is, a STUDENT OF GOD'S WORD. This is why for years hundreds of people have come to listen to him.
It is always harder to write a little book than it is a big one. This is especially true of a biography, doubly true of this biography of Clarence Walker. His interests have been so varied, his life so full, his ministry so rich, that it was no small task to know just how to condense the material to give a concise yet somewhat complete picture of this, God's servant.
You will note as you read that many of the incidents in the life of Mr. Baptist were taken from old issues of the Ashland Avenue Baptist paper word for word. I have done this intentionally because they were written in the fervor of the times and with a color that would be impossible for me to duplicate.
It is my prayer that those who read this will receive just a portion of the blessing which I have had in preparing it. And through its pages may the Master inspire your life as He has mine by the blessed ministry of Mr. Baptist.
An earlier picture of Bro. Walker
Bro. Walker Preaching
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page No. CHAPTER 1 - Birth and Early Childhood 1 CHAPTER 2 - Conversion of Mr. Baptist and the Call to Preach 4 CHAPTER 3 - Mr. Baptist Becomes Husband and Father 8 CHAPTER 4 - Mr. Baptist Comes to Ashland Avenue 9 CHAPTER 5 - Mr. Baptist an Evangelist 17 CHAPTER 6 - Mr. Baptist - Crusader for the Faith and the People 25 CHAPTER 7 - Mr. Baptist - Author and Publisher 64 CHAPTER 8 - Mr. Baptist - College President 80 CHAPTER 9 - Sermonettes by Mr. Baptist 80 CHAPTER 10 - An Old Man's Dream Comes True 96 CHAPTER 11 - A Last Visit to 808 Aurora Ave., Lexington, Ky 106
BIRTH AND EARLY CHILDHOOD
As the birds chirped out their message of spring in the peaceful little town of Trimble, [NW] Tennessee, there came the cry of another who was destined to point hundreds to Christ. Thus, Clarence O'Neil Walker made his entrance into the home of John and Dixie Walker on May 29, 1890. He was the second child to be born into this Godly home. The Walker home was not a wealthy home but a Godly one.
Mrs. Dixie Walker was never a well woman, but in spite of her afflictions she cared for the household and for the children which the Lord had graciously given them. John Walker was a loving father, whom each child honored, revered, and held in high esteem.
Brother Walker tells of his family and childhood in the following words: "In my father's family there were fourteen children. The oldest of us was our half brother, Canby, who was the only child by my father's first marriage. Canby's mother died soon after he was born. This may not interest many of the readers of our paper, then again I felt you might be interested, so I am going to give you the names of my brothers and sisters.
First, a little girl was born and lived just a few months. My mother named her Bessie Lee. Then I came along and she gave me the name - Clarence. Kay was born twenty-one months later. After Kay was a little boy named Lee, who died the day he was born. My sister Viola was next. She was the one who stayed with mother until the Savior took her to her heavenly home. Then my brother Dell was born, followed by a little girl named Cleona, who lived about a year; then my sister Johnnie, who is now Mrs. Howard Davis. After Johnnie was Walter, my preacher brother. Mrs. Paul Brown, whose full name is Louisa Ritter, named after our mother's mother, but commonly called Lula, is next to Walter. The three youngest were Sally, Jewell, and last, a little girl who lived three months, named Kate.
When I was a boy about 10 years old my mother had a most serious illness from which she never recovered fully. I can remember so distinctly the difference which came into her life after this illness — before she always seemed so young and a dynamo of energy, enthusiasm and power. Afterward she seemed to be much older and weary. My father nursed her and waited upon her as if she were a baby. One of the most beautiful pictures to me is the tenderness and love that I saw manifested by him for my mother. She was only a girl in her teens when they ran away from home and married. There never seemed to be a burden too heavy for him to carry, nor anything too hard for him to do if it brought pleasure and happiness to her. He was a man of prayer and a man of faith. He loved the Lord and the Church of the living God."
The family of John Walker moved from Trimble, [in NW] Tennessee, to Louisville, Kentucky, when Clarence was only 15 months old and he remained there until he was seventeen years of age, when he left for William Jewell College at Liberty, Missouri. Brother Walker writes of his father's occupation at Louisville in the following manner: "My father worked at Mengel's for nearly forty years and my early joy there was helping to make boxes. Once they wanted me to work on whiskey boxes. I refused, and thought surely my boss, Mr. Charlie Ross, a great friend of my father's, would fire me, but he didn't."
Their first residence in Louisville was on Eleventh Street, and they remained there until he was nine at which time they moved to Twelfth Street. They remained there until their father built a house at Fifteenth and Wilson. It was at this time that John and Dixie helped to organize the Ormsby Avenue Baptist Church. It was here that Clarence later found the Lord, served as janitor, later deacon and then surrendered to preach. The Walker family could always be expected to be at the Ormsby Avenue Baptist Church whenever the doors were opened unless illness intervened.
CONVERSION OF MR. BAPTIST,
AND THE CALL TO PREACH
Paul's most able weapon when arraigned before the judges and potentates of his day was simply to recount his conversion experience. I believe each individual can recount his own experience of grace more vividly than anyone else. I have taken the following account of Clarence Walker's conversion from the September 3, 1943 edition of the A.A.B. where he recounts his own conversion experience.
"As the years pass a man recalls more and more the events of his early life, especially the things that stand out as epoch making. I am now (In 1943) 53 years old, and somehow, I keep thinking of that day long ago, when I was converted to God. I tell it here praying that it might lead someone else to find the Lord Jesus their Saviour too.
I was eleven years old. It took place one Sunday night in my childhood home, as I lay upon my bed. My parents and other children were asleep. I couldn't sleep so deep was the conviction of sin upon me. I rolled and tossed, but at last I found JESUS, MY SAVIOUR AND MY GOD.
The persons and events which come to my memory as I think about my conversion are these:
There are those who prayed for me. My father was a member the Ormsby Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky, and a brother T. E. Cannedy was our pastor. It was a little church just recently organized. I was made janitor of the church by my father - free gratis. The members were praying people. Among them one dear old woman - past four score and ten - who often laid her hand upon my head and said, "Clarence, I am praying for you." Her name was Mrs. Bender. Mrs. Cannedy, our Pastor's wife, took a tremedous interest in my soul and prayed unceasingly that I might find the Lord. She talked with me and in the Sunday School class taugh me the Holy Scriptures, showing me my dire need of one who could save me from my sins. Another worker was Mrs. Smith, a devout and earnest soul winner, who often spoke to me about my lost condition.
Above all was my mother, who insisted that we never miss Sunday School, preaching or prayer meeting. I could go on naming those who prayed for me. How I thank God for them. Most of them are in heaven today.
There are those who taught me the word of the Lord. In our home our father honored, loved, read and obeyed the Holy Scriptures to the best of his ability. In our little church, Brother Cannedy, as I see it now, was a faithful teacher of the Word. In the pulpit he did not hesitate to preach and declare unto us the gospel. In his preaching there was no compromise with sin, nor was there any letting up in the matter of wholehearted consecration to Christ. Not only did he teach me that I was lost and a condemned sinner under God's law but as surely as I died, unrepentant, and without faith in Christ, I would go into hell - and he left no doubt in my mind, that the Hell of the Bible was real and lasted forever.
But there were others besides my parents, my Pastor and Sunday School teacher who helped me to understand the way of the Lord. One dear brother, Charlie Embry, was Superintendent of our little Sunday School. It was he who said one Sunday afternoon - for our Sunday School met in the afternoon - "Boys and girls, when you go home tonight, and have gone to your beds, before you close your eyes to sleep, talk to the Lord, tell him how sinful you are, then receive him as your Sin-Bearer and Saviour, he will save you." I was already under conviction, for I do now remember how I used to think of my awful doom. I did shudder as I thought of my sins that bore down upon me, even as a lad of eleven years of age. The word of the Lord plowed deep through my heart for many months before I understood and surrendered to the Lord Jesus. Even when I was eight and nine years old, I would think of my lost condition, and in my heart came a fear and dread of death - for I did not want to go to hell when I died.
It was this exhortation by our Superintendent that brought me to the greatest of all experiences for time and eternity, as far as my ife is concerned. That night I did receive the Lord Jesus as I lay upon my bed. It was a very simple prayer.
I guess that I was one of the most ignorant of God's creatures - but as I prayed, I simply asked the Lord to save me, to forgive my sins and speak peace to my soul. Over and over in my mind came an expression that Brother Cannedy used so much in his preaching — 'Christ died for your sins, simply trust Him'. Thus I prayed and trusted Him, who bore all my sins in his own body on the cross - the just for the unjust. Then as I trusted Him whom God first trusted, peace — 'sweet peace, the gift of God's love' came into my heart. Praise His dear name!'
After receiving the assurance that the Lord had forgiven him all his sins, he made a public profession of his faith at the Ormsby Baptist Church and followed the Lord in believer's baptism. Then was a zeal in his heart to know and teach the word of the Lord. He was soon made a teacher of a Sunday School class and at the age of thirteen became clerk of the church.
At the age of fourteen he was elected to be a deacon in the church. Upon hearing that he was about to be made a deacon, Clarence blurted out in the church, "A deacon is supposed to be the husband of one wife and I don't have a wife." He was instructed by an aged preacher that this meant a deacon who is married should have only one living wife. So he was ordained.
But God had something more for Clarence to do other than be a deacon in the church. There was a continual burden and burning desire to preach the word of God. The gospel had so transformed his life that he in turn wanted to preach to the world the redeeming grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Shortly he announced his call to the ministry and began his preparation, first by going to William Jewell College at the age of sixteen. He was licensed and ordained to preach in 1909. Mr. Baptist was ready to give a full life of service for the Master.
At the age of seventeen he entered Georgetown Baptist College, and attended the Academy for the next four years. It was while at Georgetown that the doors of opportunity to preach began to really open up. Clarence met a young preacher named Obe Steger. He went home with Brother Steger and preached at the Old Shiloh Baptist Church.
While in school he pastored three part-time churches, the Shiloh Baptist Church near Corinth, Kentucky, the Newby Baptist Church near Richmond, Kentucky, and the Redhouse Baptist Church. After two years he resigned the Newby Church and the Shiloh Church and accepted the part-time church at Kiddville, in Clark County.
As a young preacher, Clarence Walker was a vigorous preacher, (as well as an enormous eater). He put his heart, soul, and entire strength into his messages. None doubted the sincerity of Clarence Walker as he called upon sinners to repent and Christians to a holy dedicated walk with the Master. It was not long until he entered into his first full time pastorate, which was the Mount Freedom Baptist Church at Wilmore, Kentucky.
MR. BAPTIST BECOMES HUSBAND AND FATHER
It was during his first year as Pastor at the old Mount Freedom Baptist Church that Mr. Baptist found his most treasure earthly possession, "Glo." Clarence could not help but notice the beautiful red-haired organ player at the church, a widow with one girl named Allie. So Mr. Baptist asked permission to walk he home after the night services. This courtship continued for about a year until Mr. Baptist could muster the courage to ask her a most important question. Her answer was yes, so on October 14 1913, Mrs. Glorenna Bush McDaniels, and Mr. Baptist were united in marriage in Lexington, Kentucky.
Certainly God had predestined this marriage in heaven. There possibly has never been a couple better matched than "Clarence and Glo." Time and space will not permit us to emphasize what Mrs. Baptist has meant to Clarence Walker's life. Surely no preacher of the gospel ever had a more faithful, untiring companion in the gospel than Mr. Baptist. She was a strength to him in the time of weakness, a comfort in time of trouble, an encouragement in the time of despondency. When others did not understand, "Glo understood. When others were afraid to move forward with him in battle, "Glo" was always ready. She was ready to serve in her place as mother to the home, as wife to her preacher husband who often needed the encouragement she gave. She served as a loyal worker and teacher in the church, always ready to fit in wherever she was needed. Yes, the marriage that took place October 14, 1913 had the sanction of heaven upon it as the years of service and teamwork of the Godly couple have proven.
In about a year after they were married, they became the proud parents of a baby girl whom they named Dixie. Shortly after this Mr. Baptist was called as pastor at the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, which was then a small handful of people meeting in school house.
On June 20, 1917, the second child was added to the Walker family, she was named Mildred Lois. The third girl, Jean Miller was born in 1919.
MR. BAPTIST COMES TO ASHLAND AVENUE
Mr. Baptist was called as pastor of the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in 1916. Here is his description of his visit and call to the church as he describes it in the November edition of the "Ashland Avenue Baptist", 1922.
"On the first Sunday in October, six years ago, I resigned the pastorate at the Mount Freedom Baptist Church at Wilmore, Kentucky. I did not know where God would lead me next, but I did so believing it was His will. Among the invitations I received for a visit was a telephone call from Dr. Porter to come the first Sunday in November to visit the new Baptist Church, which he had begun to organize with some members from the First Baptist Church. Brother W. H. Mayhappy had served as pastor for a brief time, but had resigned to return to his native state of Tennessee.
I can never forget the first day at the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church. The Saturday night before, I had closed a meeting at Sadieville, and I came to Lexington on the Q. and C., getting here about 9:40 a.m. I walked from the station out to the church. That's a walk that I'll think of during eternity. I had misjudged the distance from the depot to the church. As I came up Ashland Avenue I saw a man standing in the door with his hair cut close to his head. He was Ott Miller. He ought to have been in Bible Class that Brother Case was then teaching. But Ott is Ott and if he doesn't stay in the class, we know that his heart is there.
Little did I realize then that we were forming an acquaintance that would mean so much to each of us. We have prayed together, wept together, borne heavy burdens together, rejoiced together. As I write about Ott, the faces of many of you come before me as I think how faithful both the men and women have been — tears of love come to my eyes. At the close of the service that night, Dr. Beard arose and made a motion that they call "Brother Walker" as pastor. Thus God led me to Ashland Avenue. There were 44 members, and the first year our budget was $2,000.
From the first Sunday that Mr. Baptist came to the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church it was evident that the Lord was leading him and the people in their ministry together. The people began to come and the crowds increased. Their first church building was a small school house which they had converted into a church. In just one year the attendance had grown from 25 to 130. In the next ten years the attendance jumped to about 400 in Sunday School. In 1931 the Sunday School was running 477, in 1932 it was 552, in 1939 it was 648, in 1940, 840. It is now averaging over 1,000 every Sunday.
The Ashland Avenue Baptist Church has had down through the years, a marvelous spirit of evangelism. Because of this the building had to be remodeled the first year after Mr. Baptist came to the church. Then in 1919 came the fulfillment of his dream, the construction of the present auditorium on Ashland Avenue. This building was erected as the result of prayer, faith and sacrifice of the small church that believed that God was able to undertake the impossible for them. What a challenge it ought to be to any people as they see the mighty hand of God working with His children to bring about the needs as they labor for him.
The actual construction on the building ended in January of 1922. The date was set for entering the building on January 22, 1922. Brother Walker speaks of it in this way in the January 1922 edition of the A.A.B.:
"The Lord willing, on next Sunday, January 22, 1922, we shall hold the meeting of our church in our new building that by the grace of God we have been able to erect. The dedication will not take place until the second Sunday in February. The pastor will preach both of these services on this opening day, and at the close of each meeting administer the beautiful ordinance of baptism. We do now and here invite you to be present with us. Our prayer is that many souls will be saved and the name of the Lord magnified. The building is not completed but the auditorium will be finished.
Our heavenly Father has blessed us in a mighty way with the erection of this house. Everyone who sees it thinks that it must have cost between $75,000 and $100,000.
The committee, instead of giving it out to one contractor, superintended the work themselves, thereby saving the church quite a bit of money. With the balcony seating 200, the auditorium will take care of 615. The Sunday School is built for a departmental Sunday School. We come to our dedication with a debt of $30,000. Everyone knows that this is a tremendous responsibility on a church just 6 years old with a membership of just 300 members who are not rich in this world's goods. Pray for us, brethren, that before many days the Lord will have moved on the hearts of brethren and sisters to give the needed $30,000."
In 1932 the church voted to build a Sunday School addition on the back of the auditorium which would be forty by seventy feet. This new addition helped greatly in the building of a larger Sunday School.
During these early days the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church not only was a great light house for evangelism, but the Pastor was continually going throughout the country to various churches for revival meetings. For years Mr. Baptist averaged ten revival meetings a year in addition to pastoring his church. Then again the church and their pastor stood as a great civic institution the city of Lexington. The Ashland Baptist pulpit spoke out against the liquor traffic, the gambling racketeers, crooked politicians and corruption in the city of Lexington and the nation. The message of this faithful church has helped to make Lexington a better city in which to live. Because of the stand which they took, needless to say many times they made enemies.
Then again, this church and its faithful pastor have been a great bulwark against false doctrine, modernism, compromise in unionism, and all error that rears its ugly head in the religious realm. Whenever modernism appeared in the Baptist Convention the Ashland Baptist pulpit and paper have been a faithful messenger of the Lord to warn the Baptists throughout the state, nation, yes, even the world, of the errors as they crept into the Convention. This was done in the spirit of love, with malice toward none, a desire to help toward all.
Surely few churches have had the privilege of such a varied, yet fruitful ministry as the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church. In thirty-four years of existance we might summarize the work follows:
1. A great soul winning station
Beginning in a small one room school house, with 44 members, the Ashland Baptist has now grown to over 3,000 members. In 1938, Dr. L. R. Scarborough, then President of the South Baptist Convention, wrote a letter of congratulations to Brother Walker concerning the great spirit of evangelism which his church had shown. It goes as follows:
Dr. Clarence Walker
Dear Brother Walker:
In looking over the Baptist handbook for 1938 I see the special notice of the wonderful record your church has made in baptisms and additions otherwise. In thinking of the southwide revival and the part your church will have in it, I am writing you to congratulate you on this wonderful record. I am sure that all of our people are grateful for the soul- winning leadership you and your church have. It seems that there were 77 churches last year that had 100 or more baptisms . . .
God's best blessing on you
Yours Fraternally, L. R. Scarborough, Pres. Southern Baptist Convention
2. A great propagator for the truth.
From the pulpit, printed page, and radio the Ashland Baptist has been a strong propagator of the doctrines of a local New Testament Church, what they ought to believe and practice. It has fought unionism, modernism and apostacy in the Baptist denomination. The "Trail of Blood" has gone throughout the world with its great message of truth to many thousands of people.
3. Missionary to the world through the printed page.
The ministry of the Ashland Avenue Baptist has literally gone to the uttermost parts of the earth through the printed page. The Ashland Avenue Baptist began as a small bulletin just one year after Mr. Baptist went to the church as pastor. In those early days there were many struggles to keep the paper going out. But the Lord provided. Through the years the paper has seen a steady growth. Especially during the Second World War when hundreds and thousands of copies were sent to the boys in service. Today nearly 100,000 copies of the paper go out weekly throughout the world taking their message of light and life.
Then there is also the book ministry. The printing of the book, "WALTER DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANY MORE", the story of his brother's death, interwoven with the plan of salvation. God marvelously used this little booklet to bring salvation and comfort to hundreds of thousands of hearts. There have been about 2,000, copies of this book printed at this writing.
Then also the book "THE TRAIL OF BLOOD", which is a history of the Baptist Churches from the time of Christ, their founder, to the present time, and what they believe. This book has been translated into many languages, and has gone throughout the four corners of the earth carrying with it the message of the New Testament doctrines of the church. To date about 900,000 copies of this book have been printed and it has been translated into five different languages.
Then there is also the book, "The Death of a Baby," which had 50,000 copies printed. The "Sinners, Lost Sinners, Saved Sinners", a book on the plain way of salvation and a saved man's walk. This book has been used in many Vacation Bible Schools. Thus far 100,000 copies of this book have been printed. Countless thousands of other books, tracts and messages have been sent out through the Ashland Baptist, including several thousands of copies of the Bible. Surely the ministry of the printed page has penetrated the darkest regions of the world through the faithful ministry of this New Testament Church.
4. The ministry of the Bible School and College
In a later chapter we shall more fully give an account of the Bible College sponsored ty the church, here we simply mention it in summarizing the vast ministry of the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church. Even though Mr. Baptist holds no degrees, either earned or honorary, he has keenly felt the need of training young men for the ministry. The Lexington Baptist College first started out as a "Monday Night Preacher's Class". It was my joy to sit in on some of these classes. From this small beginning God has raised up the Lexington Baptist College where men and women are now being trained in service for the Master.
THE AMAZING PART Of IT ALL!
Here is the thing that has been outstanding concerning the vast and varied world-wide ministry down through these thirty-four years. IT HAS ALL BEEN CARRIED ON BY FAITH! It has been the motto of brother Walker that God will open the way step by step if God's people will trust Him. Many times the way grew stormy. Money had to be raised for buildings, at times it seemed that the way was impossible. THEN - GOD DID SOMETHING - HE WENT BEFORE HIS WAITING PEOPLE AND OPENED THE WAY. There is one incident of the way the Lord led . . .
GOD HEARS IN A DARK DAY
"I remembered a day when these scriptures led to a wonderful victory in our church. We had begun the building of our auditorium and Sunday School plant. We had agreed to build it as the money was brought in or sent into the Lord's treasury. In those days there were just a few of us. We agreed to follow the Lord's plans - give our tithes and offerings - and depend on Him to supply our need as the building was built.
The basement was dug, the foundations were laid, the first floor laid. The money had come in, we had enough to start the brick walls. Then I got sick and was out of the work for four months. It was then that the churcK decided to borrow the money to go with the walls. The bank lent us the money.
A NOTE COMES DUE
You know when you borrow money you have to pay it back. I had gotten well and was back on the job. One day Ott Miller, now in mansions above, came in and said, "Pastor, that money is due, the bank wants their money." The church was dead broke, we had nothing in the treasury. Ott and I got on our knees and prayed . . . The Next Sunday I called the whole church together for a week of prayer.
Monday night, we felt like the Lord had shut up the winda of heaven and no blessings came upon us. The next night it the same - the heavens seemed like brass. My heart was broken. After everyone had gone home I found the scriptures in our article - Why God Does Not Answer Prayer. I studied, then fell on my knees - confessed my mistakes, shortcomings, sins. The next night I gave one scripture for each brother to read. We all listened studied them, then all got down on our knees - confessed our sins as individuals and as a church. We sought the Lord weeping, repenting, coming back to the truth.
GOD HEARS — ANSWERS
We knew that God would hear us now - that He had heard us. The next day I waited for someone to bring me a gift - for our Building Fund. But that night just before prayer meeting started, a young lady, a visitor, handed me $100.00 After the another dear lady, a member of another church said, "Come to my house in the morning and I will give you $500.00" However, she brought it to my home before breakfast. Another dear brother called me on the phone, he put $750.00 in the mail for the building debt. Another brother called me into his office and said, "I want to have a part in this building of the new meeting house on Ashland Avenue, here is $2,000.00. Brethren - none of these folks were members of Ashland Avenue. We had given and given - but, thank God - Ott Miller paid the note in full. God hears and answers the prayer of faith. Praise His dear name!"
And so goes the story of how God through the years had manifested His name by sustaining and supplying the needs of his children as they with their Pastor have ventured to walk through the doors which He has opened.
MR. BAPTIST AN EVANGELIST
One doesn't have to be around Clarence Walker long to find out that his greatest desire is to lead men and women to a saving knowledge of Christ. This one motivating factor through the years has driven him week after week in his search for the lost. He believes men without Christ are LOST - ETERNALLY CONDEMNED TO A LITERAL HELL. Because of the zeal for the souls of men God has given him a fruitful ministry of souls.
The Ashland Avenue Baptist Church through the years has been a great lighthouse of evangelism. The church has consistently through the years baptized between, 150 and 200 people every year. In every service somewhere the plan of salvation has been made plain to lost sinners. In an earlier chapter we mentioned the letter of commendation from L. R. Scarborough, then president of the Southern Baptist Convention, commending the Ashland Baptist Church on the fine spirit of evangelism which they have had.
But his evangelistic labors have not been confined to his own church. For many years Brother Walker averaged ten revival meetings a year in addition to carrying on his pastoral duties. I have taken some excerpts from some old A.A.B. papers which give the color of some of these revival meetings in which Brother Walker was the evangelist. Even though the most of these meetings were confined to relatively small churches, many of them rural churches, it was evident that the mighty power of God was upon them, by the great crowds which attended and the conversions of hundreds of lost souls.
MT. CARMEL REVIVAL - 1917
"During the first two weeks of August, we helped Brother Levi Vincent in a meeting with his church, Mt. Carmel in Franklin County. We certainly had a great revival. The crowds were immense from the start. Many souls were converted and the church greatly revived."
(Sept. A.A.B., 1917)
LUSBY MILL REVIVAL - 1922
"One of my greatest joys is to do the work of an evangelist. For sixteen years now I have been holding from eight to twelve revival meetings a year. I have seen hundreds converted and baptized into the churches. And my, what a great meeting the Lord gave us at Lusby Mill."
(July A.A.B. 1922)
OUR CROWN AND JOY
The pastor's heart was made glad the other day when Brother Burnett stopped on the road to Harrodsburg to buy some gasoline and a young man stepped up to the machine and said, "Is this Brother Walker?" I replied, "Yes it is." "Well, you don't remember me, but I can never forget you. Years ago down in Franklin County you led me to Christ". I would rather have the hour of joy such as that as to own the world. A few days ago a group of young people stopped me and said, "You led all of us to Christ." Oh, the joy! But what will it be in heaven when those you led Christ gather about you. Paul said, "For what is our hope, our joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming. For ye are our glory and joy." (
(A.A.B. Aug., 1922)
GREAT REVIVAL AT MT. HEBRON - 1923
Smaller samples of Pentecost and its revival spirit broke in some of the rural areas where Brother Walker held revivals. In the Mt. Hebron Baptist Church in 1923, God certainly undertook for the people in this country church. Great crowds came there was no place to put them. People stopped their work and crowded into the church for the day services until there was no room left. One Monday Brother Walker spoke to just the children and over 400 were present. At the close of the meeting the Pastor, Brother I. W. Manley, baptized in the Dix River near Danville.
ORMSBY REVIVAL - 1924
It is always a joy to go back to the church where you found the Lord. And thus it was in the Ormsby Baptist Church that Brother Walker went for a meeting in December, 1924. The spirit of God was manifested in a mighty way, great crowds came for the meeting and 50 were approved for baptism, and many others who were saved united with other churches.
To the modern mind it does not seem possible that such mighty revivals could be had in rural districts. At the old fashioned camp meets which would last for weeks and weeks, the crowds, to number two or three thousand people, came night after night for weeks when the spirit of the Lord was poured out upon the meetings. In one meeting in Mercer County at the close of one of the great camp meetings, over 100 people were baptized in the Kentucky River near the Brooklyn Bridge. Many estimated that the crowd at this baptizing would number nearly 25,000 people. In this baptismal service was one man 100 years old and his daughter 75 years old. Services would be held in the day time, the churches could not hold half the crowds that would leave their work and come in the middle of the day to hear the word of God. Walter Walker would often go with Clarence and work especially with the young people. It seemed that the Lord had especially gifted him for this.
Clarence Walker was a Spirit-gifted evangelist. There was no loud speaking system needed when he spoke. He would thunder with the roar of thunder when picturing God's hatred and the blackness of sin in the human heart. In practically every message he would be careful to point men and women to Calvary. There he would paint the picture of the Saviour's suffering so vividly that none could mistake the great truth that "Christ died for our sins."
God not only used Mr. Baptist in the rural areas of Kentucky but in many states as a revivalist. Great revival fires were kindled in Texas during his visits there. Hundreds were blessed in Michigan and Canada during his visits to the North country which he had to visit to escape the plague of hay-fever.
I hare taken the liberty of extracting some excerpts to show something of the revival spirit that was felt in some of the communities in which he preached.
PORT ARTHUR TEXAS REVIVAL - 1926
- THE REVIVAL -
It came from God.
"Praise His Blessed Name."
For the glory of His only begotten Son, He in His gracious gave the victory. God the Holy Spirit, "even the Spirit of truth who proceed from the mouth of the Father," testified to the saving power the blood.
A real revival is a time of prayer - of confession.
Turning from sin.
Preaching the word.
Conviction for sin.
Repentance toward God.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Adding to the church.
Continuing steadfastly in the doctrines.
(For proof see the first chapter of Acts.)
God the Holy Spirit does these things.
It is He who convicts of sin.
Who draws God's people closer to Heaven and near one another.
Who regenerates the sinners.
Who adds to the church.
Who if yielded to, will lead unto all truth.
In the Port Arthur meeting these marks were clearly seen.
That blessed fellowship of God's people was made sweeter and the sinners came to the Heavenly Father through the merits of Lamb, slain on Calvary's cross and wooed by the Holy Spirit was there two weeks and one day. There were 125 added, of which 28 came at the last service. The revival will continue on in the life of the church for God who does the work does not drop it when the preacher leaves. Let God's people thank Him for this great blessing but beloved, pray - pray - that these little drops shall become drenching rains.
(A.A.B. - 1926)
AN INTERESTING SIDELIGHT
PASTOR PRAYS FOR FAILING VOICE AND IT IS RESTORED
Visitors at Central Baptist church Tuesday night were convinced, they said, that all the miracles performed on this earth were not confined to the early history of Galilee.
Rev. Clarence Walker, Lexington, Ky., evangelist, was conducting a revival service; his voice became hoarse and his auditors were straining forward in their seats to hear him. The minister ceased preaching and prayed that his voice would be strengthened that he might continue his sermon.
"And then the miracle came to pass," one visitor, speaking of the incident today said, "and his voice rang out as clear as a bell." Port Arthur News.
GOD MOVES MIGHTILY IN GATLIFF REVIVAL - 1927
I begin these notes for the A.A.B. at the close of the Lord's Day. It has been a wonderful day in His service. For two weeks I have been in Gatliff preaching two or three times each day. With those who came tonight there have been 102 additions to the church - 90 or more for baptism. I spoke first this morning before the Men's Bible Class with 113 present. It was an inspiring sight to see those fellows studying the Word of God. Brother Jones is their teacher — and a fine teacher he is. Then I preached at 11 o'clock on "Sanctification," bringing out these three points - Sanctified by the blood - sanctified by the spirit and sanctified by the Word. At 3 p.m. I spoke to a great crowd of men on "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery." At night, "Seeing Jesus."
GOD DOES IT AGAIN AT PORT ARTHUR - 1928
Port Arthur, Tex., April 8, 1928
Rev. Walter Walker, 808 Aurora Avenue, Lexington, Ky.
Dear Walter: -
Closed meeting tonight with ninety additions. Brother and Sister Cannedy's work with Central church goes on gloriously. Will visit Houston and Galveston tomorrow; start home Wednesday.
My subject Sunday will be: "UNCONVERTED BAPTIST CHURCH MEMBERS" and at night. "A TRIP TO TEXAS."
Hope to see everybody out Sunday. CLARENCE WALKER
COUNTRY SIDE STIRRED IN HORSE CREEK REVIVAL
- 1931 -
Saturday night I closed the meeting on Horse Creek in Clay County, Kentucky. The Church takes its name from the creek on which it is located and is called the Horse Creek Baptist Church. Brother H. G. Sizemore is the loved and honored pastor, having been there as pastor for the last 18 months. He is a real missionary pastor among the people where he was born and has lived all his life except six years spent in the army. He goes about continually holding revival meetings and strengthening the weak churches as he bears the good news of redemption to the people of the hills.
The Lord gave us a wonderful manifestation of divine grace during these two weeks. Nearly seventy were added to the church. All but about ten coming by baptism.
Men and women with families were converted. There will be a number of men with their wives baptized together.
One brother united with the church who was 90 years old. Two women were 82, another woman 72. The power of God is not dead - it still saves when the Christ is lifted up. There was one thing that I tried to make plain in the very start of the meeting and that was, the work of grace with which God begins the Christian 1ife is a birth of two elements - the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Depending entirely upon the spirit to apply the Word to the hearts and consciences of men and women. He added to his church many new born souls - praise and glory be unto his Holy Name.
In some ways the Horse Creek meeting was one of the greatest the Lord has ever given me. The crowds and the interest did not cease for a minute. The last night there were twenty to accept the invitation - eighteen of them for baptism and two young men came before the church confessing their backsliding before God and the people and were restored to fellowship. Only the power of the Spirit can create and sustain such a work of grace in any place.
FIRST CAMP MEETING AT HARP'S CORNER
GREAT SUCCESS - 1931
"And the hand of the Lord was with them; and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord." - Acts 12:21
CAMP MEETING CLOSES; OVER 2000 HEAR PASTOR
WALKER ON SUNDAY NIGHT; 55 ADDITIONS
When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.
The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. - Psalms 126.
Sunday night we closed our first annual camp meeting at Harp's Corner. It was truly a God-Given revival.
From the start the crowds surpassed any thing we have ever dreamed about - going over 2000 on Sunday night. It was said over 100 automobiles tried to find parking places but could not and went away.
There were 55 additions to the churches, 15 coming to Athens and 40 for Ashland Avenue.
We had an out-of-doors baptizing at 6:30 o'clock for those who desired thus to be baptized. It was indeed a most beautiful sight to see the thousands watching the holy burial as the candiates pictured the gospel of Our Lord in Baptism.
GREAT REVIVAL AT SECOND CAMP MEETING - 1932
CAMP MEETING TO CLOSE SUNDAY NIGHT
The Lord has been gracious.
Souls have been saved. The word has been sung and preached. Without any special advertisements the crowd, we believe, has gone over 1,000. Sunday night we are expecting between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
Among those converted was Brother Levi Harp. We have known Brother Harp for many years and prayed much that he might come to the Saviour - How happy everybody is that he has come to Christ with these others.
The mother and father and wife of the two men killed in Jack's Creek neighborhood some time ago have come and will be baptized Sunday night. We are happy for everyone who has come.
We pray that many more may come before we say the last "Amen" Sunday night.
The Lord willing, we shall baptize those who desire to be baptized, out in the open Sunday just before the night service.
Then on Monday night we shall have a baptizing service in the church. This will be my last service before I go to Michigan - as we leave on Tuesday. Pray.
ASHLAND AVENUE REVIVAL
GREAT CROWDS - NEARLY 100 ADDITIONS
- 1937 -
Brother Gibson Preaches Last Sermon Sunday Night; Brother J. W. Porter Speaks at 3 p.m. Sunday; Nearly 100 Additions to Church; A Welcome to Visitors; Every Member Expected to Come.
We are in the fifth week of the Ashland Avenue revival meeting. The interest and the crowds continue unabated. We are thankful to Almighty God. The Holy Spirit has taken the word of truth and has revived the Lord's people and has convicted many sinners of sin, causing them to turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has abundantly saved all who have come to Him.
MR. BAPTIST - CRUSADER FOR THE FAITH AND THE PEOPLE
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