w/ Hugh H. Morgan
(From the Archives of Hugh's News published in December 2006)
Tuesday evening, just before midnight, December 12, 2006
The story of Dr. Jerry B. Walker's funeral as told by Lonnie Rex of Spring, TX.
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Funeral Service for Jerry B. Walker written by Lonnie Rex
In the lovely Chapel, a large video screen rolled down with only the words:
Jerry B. Walker 19?? -- December 7, 2006
The prelude was by the noted organist, the Rev. Mr. Mark Bristow of Monahans, Texas, who has played in the Crusades the last few years.
As the heavenly music of the great choir from his Crusade in South Africa, singing his theme song, "OH, THE BLOOD OF JESUS," the life of Rev. Jerry B. Walker flashed on the screen.
From early childhood, to the great Miracle Crusades, each scene brought memories, laughs, tears, joys that reminded us how he had touched each of our lives.
The congregational singing was led by the Rev. Mr. John McDuff. Jerry requested "BLESSED ASSURANCE, JESUS IS MINE." My, how each one joined as we sang praises to God of His Assurance that Jerry is in a better place and dancing with the Angels.
Rev. John Hedgepeth read a letter from his brother, Rev. Coleman McDuff of Bellaire, California, who gave Praise for the 28-week meeting held in his church and the great miracles amazed his people. Jerry B. returned every New Year's Eve for many years.
Everyone was blessed as Jerry's close friend, Roger McDuff, the noted Gospel Singer heard many times on TBN, sang a song that shook all our souls and reminded us of God's Mercy. We knew we were in a service that would bless and glorify God. Roger's lovely voice mightily sang "WE ARE STANDING ON HOLY GROUND." It lifted our hearts and thoughts out of our grief into a realm of PRAISE.
POPO, that's what Jerry called Virgil Mott, his close friend of 40+ years gave a testimony that happened at the P H Camp Meeting in Virginia. He and his wife, were on their way with Jerry to the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship Convention in NY, and stopped a few nights for the Camp Meeting. During one of the services, as Jerry was preaching, he started walking down different aisles, not saying anything. The crowd was wondering what he was doing. Finally, he stopped at a pew and said to a lady, "What do you have in your purse?" She pulled out a few things and Jerry said in strong voice, "What else do you have in your purse?" She pulled out a gun and started crying. She had just bought it and was going home to commit suicide.
She was driving by the Grounds and because of the heavy traffic, the Police directed her to turn in. She saw happy people hurrying into the building and she thought she would see what was going on. God performed a miracle in her life that moment with the discernment ministry that God gave Jerry B.
Arthurleen Rippy, of Clearwater, Florida, Jerry's closest confidant and as he always said, his "Main Squeeze," gave a glowing, heart moving, synopsis of their long and enjoyable friendship. A great tribute.
Today was Arthurleen's birthday. She told me personally, that yesterday, before she left for the funeral, she received a Birthday Gift from Jerry.
The Rev. Dr. John Hedgepeth, senior pastor of the great Northwood Temple Pentecostal Holiness Church in Fayetteville, NC, gave an eloquent tribute to his close friend, Jerry B Walker.
"To know him was to love him."
"Eloquent of speech," were some of his moving descriptions. He compared him to some of the greats in the Bible.
He gave a short report of the many weeks that the revivals would run that shook the town, as the newspaper gave the reports. Jerry B. Walker
returned every year, for many years for extended meetings. He stated how his church was so moved when he announced Jerry's Home going.
The message was delivered by the Rev. Mr. Drew Rousse of New Iberra, LA. Jerry was scheduled to be in his church this weekend. He told of the many crusades and miracles and how Jerry B. had ministered to his people over the years..
The last time Jerry preached was in the Living Word Church in Conroe, Texas. Pastor Rev. Harold Morton gave a testimony of the wonderful services. It was my privilege to be there. What a cherished memory.
Pastor Morton said, that Sunday night, Jerry preached one of the greatest messages he has ever heard on HEAVEN.
Now we know, he already had one foot in the gate!
The American flag that lay on the casket, was given the honor ceremony and given to a niece, Mary. He served 8 years in the Air Force.
With Mark Bristow at the organ and the McDuff brothers leading all of us in the great hymn, "WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE," we silently marched down the isle and paid our respect and goodbyes to our dear "brother" who had touched each of our lives.
The Pall Bearers were his buddies, many called him "Uncle Jerry" : Chris Adams, Darly Rock, Freddie Bailey, Phillip Baker, David Flora, Ron Rock, Rev. Gerald Campbell, and Mark Stevens.
His staff arranged a lovely luncheon for all to visit and enjoy the fellowship.
As I walked into the building Monday evening for the Family night, I saw Cherry Ellen, his niece who was greeting everyone. Jerry's secretary of many years, Linda Hull, carried the responsibility of planning the service with director, Rev. Mark Bristow, Steven Walker Hand, Jeffery Tyler Boles, and Chris Adams. They were assisted by Rev. Gerald Campbell, Missionary to Malawi, Africa. Jerry B. Walker Association has sponsored him for many years. Many will remember him as Jerry's bus driver and Sound man for 15 years.
Rev. Ronnie Rae, Missionary to the Philippines, whom the Association has sponsored for years, was also visiting with everyone. It was in God's providence that both missionaries were home at this time.
People were there from many States: Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kentucky, Florida, California, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Africa, Holland, Philippines and many cities of Texas.
I looked up and saw David and Rita Flora, Missionaries to Holland, who just flew to Houston after hearing of Jerry's passing. They have known and loved Uncle Jerry for so many years.
It would be impossible to give the names of all, but I want to give a few:
Bishop Curtis and Jo Baker, IPHC, Texas Conference, Revs. Malcolm and Sulynn Burton, IPHC pastors in Houston, Rev John Hedgepeth of IPHC Northwood Temple, Bob DeAndrea, Christian TV Network, Clearwater, FL. Mrs. W. V. Grant, Dallas, Rev. Arman and Dee Stephens, Oklahoma City, Pastor Freddie Riggs, Bardstorm, Kentucky, Dr. and Mrs. Donald Frazier of South Carolina. Virgil and Martha Mott and Virgil Jr. and Tammy Mott, Houston, Dodie Osteen (mother of Rev. Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, Houston), Brent Rae, Houston, Mark Stevens, Oklahoma City, Rev. Phillip Baker, Dickenson, TX., Dylan, Arnold and Susan Smith, New Iberia, LA., S. Hanna, Louisville, KY. Joan Hunter (daughter of the "Happy Hunters"), Houston, Peter Kwan, M.D, Houston, and Dr. Jimmy Cox.
The flowers surrounding in Chapel were so beautiful, Jerry would have been delighted. One beautiful spray, I noticed was from Rev. Hilton Sutton.
My wife, Betty and I have known Jerry B. since he was in the Air Force, and was the Youth Director, fifty years ago, for Mildred Wicks in Austin, Texas. We had the pleasure to play the instruments for his many great Crusades in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Evangelistic Temple.
He has been in our home many times and we have been in his. Sunday afternoon, before he passed, I spent the afternoon with him. We talked of old times. He reminded me that my father, Rev. Dr. Robert L. Rex, ordained him to the ministry of the PH Church almost fifty-one years ago and my father's signature is on his Ordination Certificate.
He told me Sunday, he felt he did not have long to live and wanted me to do some things for him in preparation of his death. I was so shocked when the telephone call came Thursday of his passing. He died peacefully at his home in Sugar Land, TX.
Betty and I lost a dear friend and it was hard to say "GOODBYE" with his many friends. We will miss him. I write this as a tribute to him.
He spoke many times with Kathryn Kuhlman in the FGBMFI Conventions.
[Editor's Note: Lonnie Rex is listed in the 100 most influential writers in 2006. I am honored to have him as a friend and grateful to him for writing this magnificent story of Jerry B. Walker's funeral. He does it with class and dignity. He knows just about everybody. He is one of the most connected leaders in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles. The list of people at the funeral is like a Who's Who in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles. Lonnie Rex was the founder and CEO of the David Livingstone Foundation.]
Will you receive the Benediction?
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.