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John Walker: A Man for the 21st Century

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Overview

Mentor to John Kerry. Ally to Desmond Tutu. Bishop to thousands. "John Walker was a true man of God, a true believer, an apostle; and he made every life he touched much more meaningful," offers former President George H. W. Bush. Perhaps this is why his ministry is so far reaching, his memory so fresh.

Pastor, teacher, cathedral builder, civil rights leader, ecumenist, social justice pioneer, urban missionary, relief worker, statesman-John Thomas Walker was all of these, and ...

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Overview

Mentor to John Kerry. Ally to Desmond Tutu. Bishop to thousands. "John Walker was a true man of God, a true believer, an apostle; and he made every life he touched much more meaningful," offers former President George H. W. Bush. Perhaps this is why his ministry is so far reaching, his memory so fresh.

Pastor, teacher, cathedral builder, civil rights leader, ecumenist, social justice pioneer, urban missionary, relief worker, statesman-John Thomas Walker was all of these, and more. As both the first African-American to be accepted to study at Virginia Theological Seminary and later to serve as a Master at St. Paul’s School (where he influenced among others, a young John Kerry), Walker used such accomplishments to influence him in his rise to Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C. Here he left his mark on presidents, world leaders, and countless others as a confident spokesman for the radical belief that our broken world can yet be restored.

On the 15th anniversary of John Walker’s death, Robert Harrison crafts a biography built around some of the late Bishop’s most inspiring words. A testament to what one man can accomplish when he sets his mind to improving the world around him, John Walker – A Man for the 21st Century brings to life not only the man, but also the vision behind the numerous projects and organizations Walker led – many of which continue today, including Africare, a non-profit organization specializing in aid to Africa; the InterFaith Conference of Washington; and the Black Student Fund. The ten chapters chronicle Walker’s life alongside his groundbreaking work with initiatives for peace; the fight against racism through civil rights activism; education for the underprivileged; advocacy for relief and aid to Africa and the end of apartheid; fundraising for and completion of Washington National Cathedral; and the call for the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church.

All of this is carefully tied together by Walker’s words from addresses to organizations he led and supported; sermons to his congregation, Diocese, and Church; and in one case, a letter to a young man inquiring about becoming a bishop. Capturing the humility, honesty, and endless perseverance of one of the Episcopal Church’s greatest leaders, John Walker shares the story of a man whose message of love not only rings true fifteen years after his death, but that becomes increasingly relevant with each passing day.

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What People Are Saying

Canon W. Pinder and Anthony Jusick
Robert Harrison gives us an engaging presentation of this remarkable man. Interspersed throughout the book we find 24 of Walker’s most powerful sermons, addresses and prayers. They speak to the timeless issues which concern the church and the world today just as much as they did the world and the Church of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s in which they were written - issues that should stir both our consciousness and our souls, issues for serious thought, meditation, and action. This is a work that all of us who consider ourselves serious about our faith should acquire and digest. Hopefully, we will be both inspired and motivated to grapple with these same problems that confront us today.
The Living Church
Elizabeth Eisenstadt
If one thing becomes apparent in reading the biographical reflections Harrison has mixed in with the late John Walker’s sermons, addresses, letters and prayers, it is that this eloquent, faithful, ecumenically minded and socially conscious man of action rarely was alone and rarely felt alone.
Episcopal Life
James P. Wind
This project did not produce the final critical biography on John T. Walker. Instead, it pulled together key pieces of Walker’s story and key fragments of his preaching to help us see more of the whole story of a bishop. In a day when most of us know each other primarily through the functional transactions that we share, we can see more of a whole person and more of what that person’s life is about when we actively remember. Such reflection about our leaders and colleagues should be neither hagiography nor character assassination. Instead, it should help us see more deeply into the movements of sin and grace in our world, and this book accomplishes that beautifully.
president of the Alban Institute
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880282611
  • Publisher: Forward Movement Publications
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2004

    A great minister and bishop

    This is a great book about the first African-American to become bishop in the Episcopal Church in America. It recounts his life journey beginning in Detroit through his teaching career at St. Paul's school (where he taught John Kerry) to his influential life in the church and nation as bishop of Washington and dean of the National Cathedral.

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