It is to the glory of God that Rev. Dr. Ernest Dewey Walker lived and it is in God’s glory that he now resides. Born to Ernest D. Walker, Sr. and Ruby Rose Wyatt Walker on January 6, 1926, in Fairfield, Alabama, Ernest was the brother to Wanda (Broomall) and Robert Walker. Drafted into the Marines, he served in the Pacific Theater from 1944-1946 and fought at the Battle of Sugar Loaf Hill in Okinawa. Upon his return, Mr. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard College (now Samford University) in 1950 and earned his master’s degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (Class of 1955).
During his pastorate at Village Springs Baptist Church, Village Springs, Alabama, Ernest met and married his partner in life and ministry, Mary Pauline Higginbotham Walker. Together they ministered at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, Elmore, Alabama (1951-1956), and Memphis Baptist Church, Dothan, Alabama (1956-1960), before embarking on a ministry at First Baptist Church, Valparaiso, Florida, that would span three decades. It was during his tenure at First Baptist, Valparaiso, that Rev. Walker taught in the humanities department at Okaloosa Walton Jr. College (now Northwest Florida State College) as well as extension courses at Howard College. After retirement, Rev. and Mrs. Walker joined the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and facilitated church planting in Bremen, Germany (1992-1994), and later in East Berlin, Germany. The International Baptist Church in Bremen is still thriving today. Upon returning from the foreign mission field, Rev. Walker served as Interim Pastor at First Baptist Church, Sitka, Alaska; Cinco Baptist Church and Oakland Baptist Church in Ft. Walton Beach; Florosa Baptist Church, Mossy Head Baptist Church, and North Bay Baptist Church in Florida.
Rev. Walker was recognized by many for his excellence in ministry, pastoral care, teaching, and theology. Rev. Walker was inducted into the Who’s Who in Religion in the state of Florida upon the recommendation of Mrs. Addie R. Lewis. In May of 2019, Rev. Walker received the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus of Samford University, an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree.
Ernest Walker is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Pauline Higginbotham Walker, brother, Robert Walker, sons, Tim (Marianela) Walker and Steve (Donna) Walker and daughters, Annette (Bill) Negast and Martha (Kenley) Newman. Rev. Walker was further blessed with 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Ernest Walker was defined by his love for Christ and has left a legacy within his family, congregants, and friends that will encourage generations with a desire to teach and tell others of the saving power of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. To God be the glory!
Memorial Donations given in Rev. Ernest Walker’s honor should be sent to the Office of University Advancement, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229, and designated for the Ernest D. Walker Scholarship Fund.
A time of Visitation will be held at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, June 4 , with funeral service at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church, Niceville, 622 Bayshore Drive. A graveside service will follow at Sunset Cemetery, Valparaiso, Florida.