Obit and Funeral Sermon
Bro. Clarence Walker, pastor emeritus of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church and founder of Lexington Baptist College, went home to be with his Lord on Sunday morning, August 11, at about 11:25 A. M. while, services were being conducted in his church. Bro. Walker had been in the Teresa Ann Nursing Home for the past ten months and had been in rapidly declining health in the last few weeks. As word came to us, in the services, all our hearts were saddened by the news but on the other hand we rejoiced that the Lord had taken him out of his suffering, and we knew now that he was with his beloved wife, Glo, who had been with her Lord since December 30, 1967.
Bro. Walker was born in Trimble County, Tennessee, May 29, 1890. His family moved to Louisville while he was still a young boy. He was converted at the age of eleven in the Ormsby Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, where he became church clerk at the age of 13. Feeling the call into the ministry, he went to William Jewell College, where he was licensed to preach in 1909 and was ordained in the Ormsby Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1909 at the age of nineteen. His first pastorate was at Shiloh and Kiddville Baptist Churches near Corinth, Kentucky. Then he was led to the Redhouse and Newby Baptist Churches in Madison County. While pastoring these churches he was at Georgetown College. In June, 1911, he was called to the Mt. Freedom Baptist Church in Wilmore, where he served 4 1/2 vears. It was while he was pastor at Wilmore that he fell in love with the young lady who played the organ, Glorenna Bush, who shortly thereafter became his faitful and devoted helpmeet for over fifty years.
On the first Sunday of November, 1916, he accepted the call to become pastor of the newly organized Ashland Avenue Baptist Church of Lexington, Kentucky. When he came to Ashand Avenue, which had been a mission of the First Baptist Church, there were just forty-four members. Under his powerful ministry and leadership the church grew to be one of God's mightiest lighthouses.
Bro. Walker was known far and wide for his strong convictions and his dedicated stand for the truth of God's word and for his spirit of evangelism. In his early ministry he began holding tent meetings which God blessed in a mighty way in the salvation of multitudes of souls. He also began a publication ministry which has spread around the world, not only through, the little paper, the Ashland Avenue Baptist, but also in other tracts and booklets which he wrote.
Bro. Walker was noted for his expository preaching of the word of God, and not only was a great evangelist but was called upon to preach in many Bible conferences. He also conducted a radio program for over thirty years which reached into the homes and lives of multitudes of people. He was loved and respected by the thousands whom he had reached and touched with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the first Sunday of November, 1966, he resigned as pastor of Ashland Avenue after fifty glorious years. Since his retirement his advice and counsel was still sought and respected. He will be greatly missed not only by the church that he served so faithfully but by the others who knew him and loved him. The work of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church and Lexington Baptist College will continue to speak for him and for the Lord Whom he loved until the end of time.
Survivors of Bro. Walker include his three daughters, Mrs. S. J. Stokes, Jr., Mrs. W. K. Johnson, and Mrs. Charles B. Gentry, all of Lexington; four sisters, Mrs. Howard Davis and Mrs. Paul Brown, both of Lexington; Mrs. Fred Ollesch and Mrs. Donald Patterson, of Louisville; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
[AAB paper, September 6, 1968, pp. 1 & 3.]
Funeral Services Held in Ashland Avenue Baptist Church on Tuesday, August 13, at 2:30 P. M. Bro. Lloyd Mahanes, Bro. Rosco Brong, and Pastor Ross Range Conducted the Service.
"He Being Dead Yet Speaketh"
Pastor Ross Range
(This is the message that was preached at the funeral of Bro. Clarence Walker on August 13, 1968, in Ashland Avenue Baptist Church.)
As I began to think of what words I might use here this aftenoon in memory of Bro. Walker, a thought was given me by one of his daughters down at the funeral home the other day when she looked down in the face of her dear father and said, "It just looks like he is going to speak." This reminded me of a verse of scripture in Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 4, where God's word says "He being dead yet speaketh." How true this is even though Bro. Walker's mortal body lies here before us dead, yet he is not dead, as we know. Bro. Walker has gone to be with the Lord and with his loved ones who have died in Christ around the throne of God and yet he speaks to us today. He will continue to speak as long as time remains upon this earth.
He speaks to us through the things that he loved. He loved this church. On the first Sunday of November, 1916, he was called as pastor of this church, Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, having been pastor of other churches before. On the first Sunday of November, 1966, he resigned as pastor of this church because of his health after a fifty-year ministry. He loved this church. He loved every brick in this building. He saw it all go up from the ground. He loved everything that this church stood for and has proclaimed throughout these years. He speaks to us today through those things that he loved.
He loved his family very dearly, these three daughters that the Lord blessed him with. He loved his dear wife, Glo. They were so very close upon this earth. He loved these things. He loved the school that he founded, Lexington Baptist College, which will continue to speak through out the ages upon this earth. Bro. Walker loved people. He was known far and wide. Perhaps more people knew Bro. Clarence Walker than most any other preacher anywhere. Far and wide "Pastor" Walker, "Bro." Walker has been known. People loved him and he still speaks through people whom he loved and who loved him.
Not only does he speak to us through these things that he loved but he continues to speak to us through the work that he did. I could stand here the rest of the afternoon and not begin to enumerate the much work that Clarence Walker has done for the glory of his Lord and Master. He led so many, many souls to Christ who continue to speak for him. He built this church up which will continue to speak until the Lord comes again. He has published the Ashland Avenue Baptist paper all of these many years and edited it. He will continue to speak through that publication and other publications which he has written and edited such as the "Walter" book, the Trail of Blood that he has had republished, The Death of a Baby, the book on Sanctification, and so many other articles that Bro. Walker has written and left to speak for him. He will continue to speak through the many preachers of the gospel whom he has inspired, instructed, and challenged to stand for the truth that he loved and to go on to greater and higher things for his Master. He will continue to speak through these things, this work that he did.
He will continue to speak through the things that he stood for. He stood for the truth. He stood for righteousness, and we shall always remember how Bro. Clarence Walker has stood sometimes alone, many times alone. He stood for these things of truth and righteousness and the right way of living and the things of the Lord. He will continue to speak through the strong convictions that he had which have been a challenge and an inspiration to us younger ministers. But I am sure if Bro. Walker could speak to us now he would say, "Ross, don't talk about me but talk about my Lord."
- Have Faith In God -
There is one verse of scripture that lingers in our mind, and will linger until time immemorial, a verse that characterized his life, a verse that he instilled in his people here and others who knew him. That verse of scripture is the last part of Mark 11:22, "Have faith in God." I believe the one message that he would have for us today is this message. Have faith in God. We who knew him closely knew how he lived by faith, how he practiced what he proclaimed and how he stood in faith for God. So I believe that this would be his last message if he were permitted again to speak audibly to us perhaps it would be on this text, "Have faith in God."
In these days in which liberalism and modernism and all other trends going away from God, here would be this lone voice rising to the heights and saying, "Did I not teach you, did not I show you to have faith in God?"
- In The Power Of God -
As we think of this text and think of the things that he did stand for, we would know that he would say have faith in the power of God. Bro. Walker was one who believed that all things were possible with God. He believed in the power of God. He believed in the miracles of God. He believed that God was alive, that God could do things today as He has always done. Have faith in the power of God. Just trust in Him, have faith in His power. Depend upon His power. I shall always remember the story when the church was in financial difficulty here, a story that he loved to tell so much, when, he and Bro. Ott Miller got down on their knees and prayed to God for help and direction. How God answered their prayers in such a miraculous way. And I am sure he would say, "Ross, you tell the people to still have faith in the power of God." Have faith in God. God is not dead. He is still alive.
- In The Promises Of God -
Oh, it was wonderful to stand and listen to him explain and expound the promises of God and he believed every one of them and he stood upon them. I remember he used to say step by step the Lord opens up the way. Just believe his promises. Just stand on His promises and things will work that could not work otherwise. God means what He says. God says what He means so believe Him. Yes, have faith in these promises.
- In The Purposes Of God -
He always had faith in the purposes of God. Many things happened, I am sure, that Bro. Walker himself could not understand. Many things happen that we cannot understand, but I am sure he would say to us again, just have faith in the purposes of God. God knows what He is doing. God knows what He is about. Remember the scriptures say, "All things work together for good to them that love God; to them who are the called according to his purpose." So just have faith in the purposes of God for He is working all thing's out for His own glory.
- In The Word Of God -
How he loved the. Word. He loved this book because he believed that every word of it was the divine revelation of God the Father to us as God inspired holy men of old to write. He believed that this was the Word and he challenged us to believe it. And I am sure today it is still just as true, just as relevant as it ever has been. Believe the word of God and have faith in the word of God.
- In Church Of God -
He stood for the truth of the New Testament church. I am sure he would say today, have faith in God's church. The church that the Lord Jesus Himself organized and left upon the earth will be here, until He comes again and brings down the curtain of time. So have faith in the church of the Lord Jesus, to the commission that He gave to it, in the task that the church is to do. Have faith in it. Have faith to believe in the autonomous local body as he believed. So believe and have faith in the church of God.
- In The Son Of God -
And, then, crowning all of this he would say have faith in the Son of God. Oh, how he loved to preach about Jesus, how he went all over this country in revival meetings and tent meetings. Thirty-seven years ago the tent meetings started out at Harp's Corner. How he loved to preach about his Master. How he loved to lift him up before men so that men could see what was done there on Calvary's cross to wash away the guilt and the sins of all who would believe. Yes, he was evangelistic. I suppose [he] led more souls to Christ than any other pastor around about. So I am sure he would say today, continue to have faith in the Son of God, because it is through Him that men can have life and only through Him. He would say to us to have faith in Him and to proclaim Him and to lift Him up before men. Just tell people to have simple faith in Jesus.
- In God's Plan Of Salvation -
And then he would say have faith in the salvation of God. God knew what He was doing even from the foundation of the world to conceive this one plan of salvation whereby men could be saved, whereby men could have peace and joy, whereby men could have an eternal home in glory which Bro. Walker is experiencing today. Have faith in the salvation of God. Trust in Him for all things. Put your faith and confidence in Him as Bro. Walker did.
- In The Future With God -
Then I am sure he would say, "Ross, tell them to have faith to the future with God." If we were permitted today to draw back the curtains of glory and look in for a brief moment I am sure we would not see someone weeping, we would not see someone grieving. We would see those who are rejoicing around the throne of God. Bro. Walker is in that number waiting for us. Yes, he say, "Ross, tell them more than ever now, tell them to believe in the future with God." Jesus said, "I am going to prepare a place for you and if I go I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." So I am sure this would be his message to us today.
Oh, if he could only come back for one moment he would say the same thing that he has been saying all of these years with even more joy and more enthusiasm, have faith in God. Don't give up and don't get discouraged. There is a bright future ahead of us, a future with God that words cannot explain, that hearts cannot understand, that eye hath not seen, but it is out there prepared for all of those who love Him. "He being dead yet speaketh." His word would be "Have faith in God," so that one day we might meet him there in glory.
If you are here today without Jesus I know it would be his desire for you to accept Jesus as your personal saviour and be ready to meet him in glory. I believe this would be his message for us today.
A Short History of Lexington Baptist College
[AAB paper, September 13, 1968, pp. 1 & 3. The color portrait was provided by Pastor Earl Thomas, Lexington. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall]
Brother Clarence Walker
1890 - 1968
Brother Clarence Walker, the founder and first president of Lexington Baptist College, was born May 29, 1890, in Trimble County, Tennessee, the second of fourteen children born to John and Dixie Walker. When he was fifteen months old the family moved to Louisville, Kentucky where he spent his early childhood. When he was about nine years old his parents helped organize the Ormsby Avenue Baptist Church. His father volunteered him to serve as church janitor, free gratis. It was while attending this church that he became aware of his sinful condition, and when he was eleven years old he received Jesus as his personal Saviour. There were a number of people who were used of God to point him to the Saviour. Besides his parents there was an elderly lady named Mrs. Bender who often lay her hand on his head and said "Clarence, I am praying for you." This woman's concern greatly impressed the young Clarence Walker. The Sunday School Superintendent was a man named Charlie Emby. One day he told the children that before they went to bed that night they should close their eyes, tell the Lord how sinful they were, and then receive Him as Saviour. That night, as an eleven year old boy, Clarence Walker found Jesus as his Saviour.
Three years later, at the age of fourteen, he was elected to be a deacon in the church. But God had something greater for him to do, and he soon announced his call to preach. He was licensed and ordained by the Ormsby Baptist Church in 1909.
At age seventeen he entered Georgetown College. While in school he pastored three part-time churches; Shiloh, near Corinith, Kentucky; Newby (Maple Grove) near Richmond; and the Redhouse Baptist Church. His next pastorate was at Kiddville in Clark County, Kentucky. His first full time pastorate was at Mount Freedom Baptist Church near Wilmore. It was while he pastored here that he met Glorenna Bush McDaniels. On October 14, 1913 she became Mrs. Clarence Walker.
In 1916 Brother Walker was called as pastor of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington. At that time the church was only a few months old and was meeting in a small school house. In the fifty years that he pastored Ashland Avenue it grew from a small congregation of forty-four members to become one of the largest churches in the city of Lexington.
Not only was Brother Walker a great pastor, he was also, used mightly as an evangelist to help other churches. In 1922 he wrote, "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." In 1923 he preached a meeting at Mt. Hebron. People stopped their work and came to day services until there was no room left to put them. One day he spoke just to the young people and there were over four hundred present. After one meeting in Mercer County over one hundred people were baptized in the Kentucky River. Many estimated that the crowd at this baptizing would have numbered 25,000 people. Among those baptized was a man one hundred years old and his seventy-five year old daughter.
Not only was he mighty in the pulpit, but also with the pen. Nowhere is this seen more than in the Ashland Avenue Baptist Paper that was mailed out for the first time on August, 1922. The circulation of the paper grew until it became the largest weekly church paper in the world with a circulation of over 100,000. He also authored several small books that enjoyed a wide circulation. These were, The Walter Book, The Sinner Book, Sanciification and The Death of a Baby.
In the late 1950's Brother Walker suffered the first of several strokes. This made it necessary for him to greatly cut down on his work load. Brother Edward Overby and Brother Carl Saddler greatly assisted him during the last years of his ministry. Also, Brother Fred Hern was always nearby to assist him by driving him to funerals or to speaking engagements. His physical condition finally weakened to the extent that it became necessary for him to sit down when he preached.
Finally, old age and sickness made it necessary for Brother and Sister Walker to both enter the nursing home. He soon resigned as pastor of Ashland Avenue, but not before the Lord allowed him to complete fifty years as pastor of Ashland Avenue.
The last time 1 visited him he was bedfast. When I asked him how he was he answered, "Jim, inside I feel like a boy, I feel like I could run and jump and play, but the old body is worn out, it won't co-operate."
Brother Fred Hern would go to the rest home and shave him and help him in any way he could. On Sunday morning, August 11, 1968, Brother Hern shaved him and then left to attend the morning services at Ashland Avenue. While the service was in progress the phone rang. It was the nursing home calling to tell that Brother Walker was gone. Although there was much sorrow, there was also rejoicing that he had finally been released from his body of suffering and was now with his Saviour. Sister Walker had passed away several months earlier.
The funeral was August 13th, at the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church. Brother Ross Range, Brother Lloyd Mahanes, and Brother Rosco Brong conducted the service. A large crowd attended to pay their respects to the man who had for so long stood for the truth and faithfully preached the gospel of the Son of God.
Brother Walker was a great friend and help to young preachers. Those of us who knew him can thank God for allowing us to walk in the influence of such a man. Although he has been gone from earth for over 20 years, he yet lives in the lives of those he influenced.
"HE BEING DEAD YET SPEAKETH." HEBREWS 11:4
[This document was provided by Kenneth and Wanda Robbins White, Richmond, KY.
Clarence Walker was pastor of Kiddville Baptist Church, Clark County, KY in 1911-1912.
[From History of the Churches of Boone's Creek Baptist Association of Kentucky, By S. J. Conkwright, 1923, p. 151.]
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