William Carroll Walker

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1823 - 1899

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We regret to learn from Rev. W. J. Walker, of Newport, Texas, that his father, Rev. W. C. Walker, died March 22.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, April 6, 1899, page 438]


Born when our church was but thirteen years old, entering its ministry in his early life and training under the direction of our first preachers his life covers a period of more than ordinary interest and he represents a class of preachers that will forever stand as the strongest human factor in making the Cumberland Presbyterian Church what it is and is to be. He lived and studied and worked and sacrificed when the church was rounding into form. A pioneer whose compensation was paid in the good he did to others and the reward that comes to the workers of righteousness. Converted under the preaching of Rev. J. T. White, another preacher of this class, my own active church life began under the pastoral care of Rev. W. C. Walker and to-day my heart is thrilled as I remember him as indeed "a good minister of Jesus Christ." His life was not marked by one great overshadowing excellency but by the blending of many excellencies so that there was beauty and symmetry in it all. Orderly, systematic and harmonious it was balanced with the grace of proportion. No corners and crevices and angles in it. The intellectual did not overtop the moral and emotional. Strength blended with gentleness. Strictness was softened by charity. Self-assurance, which is an element in every successful life, was allied with humility and fervor was controlled by sobriety. Not an enthusiast but an earnest man. Not an agitator but a wise builder. Not isolated from his fellows by reason of some extraordinary gift but in touch with humanity so that he walked with men in that familiar fellowship that characterized the life work of the great Master. His sermons rarely rose to sublime heights of eloquence and never fell into weakness or commonplace but they always quickened, instructed and comforted those who heard. They were thoughtful, graceful and spiritual, vitalized with the power of the Holy Ghost. In life he fully realized the meaning of one great truth that should be familiar to every preacher; that there is no work in life on which fitness depends so largely on character as that of the ministry. The lawyer's argument is not vitiated because the speaker may be unjust and wicked; nothing in the moral character of the physician can effect the action of the medicine he prescribes, but with the minister the effect of the spoken truth is dependent on the moral character of the speaker. Brother Walker knew this truth and emphasized his preaching with the irresistible power of a consistent Christian life. But he is gone. His last prayer has been registered, his last counsel has been given, his last visit has been made and yet he speaks and his voice is heard from Pennsylvania to Texas. The imprint of his influence is on many individual lives as well as upon the church--especially in Middle Tennessee, North Alabama and North Texas where his life work was done.

Faithful in his every-day life; constant in his life purposes; earnest in the ministry and consistent to the end he "did what he could" and has gone to enjoy the rest that awaits God's people. In the press of this heart-crushing world every preacher might well pause just a moment and ask himself if this last paragraph would be a fitting inscription for his own tombstone if the Lord should call on him for an accounting to-day.
        T. M. HURST.
  Van Buren, Pa.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, May 11, 1899, page 601]

WALKER.--Rev. Wm. C. Walker, of Gregory Presbytery, died March 22, at his home, near Newport, Clay County, Texas. Brother Walker was 76 years of age. He professed religion when a youth; came from Tennessee a pioneer preacher in N. W. Texas. He had three brothers in the ministry, two of them preceded him to the better land, but one and a son remain to preach the gospel of consolation. For more than 20 years he has been a most faithful and reliable presbyter and a true and beloved minister of the gospel of peace, traveling through cold and heat to preach the word and doctrine. His last words with his family were consoling evidences of his bright prospects of "an entrance ministered abundantly into the everlasting kingdom;" "a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens;" "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, that fadeth not away reserved in heaven." Everybody says, "Brother Walker was a good man." A host of friends attended the funeral services at Liberty. Many could not find seats. Some stood outside of the windows, but all listened attentively to words of condolence: "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thes. iv. 13-18. At our last presbytery the feeble appearance of Brother Walker impressed us that he could not attend our next session, and now he has gone "to the General Assembly and church of the First born, which are written in heaven--to God the judge of all, to spirits of just men made perfect," the General Assembly in heaven of Crisman, Baird, Blake, Burney, King, McAdow and Ewing, and "an innumerable company" of congenial spirits redeemed in glory.
          G. W. BURNETT,
          M. A. FORGY,
          W. H. GREGORY.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, May 11, 1899, pages 606-607]


By Rev. W. P. Kloster.

W. C. Walker was born in Wayne County, Tennessee, February 15, 1823. When a young man he was deeply convicted of sin, soundly converted, and powerfully impressed to preach. So deep and thorough was this work of grace in his heart that there was never in his life any turning aside, or variation. The ruling passion of his life was determination, and a fixedness of purpose which impressed all who met him that he was a man deeply in earnest.

He and three brothers were ordained to preach by the old Richland Presbytery, in Tennessee. While he did not complete the graduation course, he was for a time a student in Cumberland University.

His first work in the ministry was a circuit, traveling on horseback, preaching in school-houses, in private homes, scattered churches and wherever there were souls that needed the message of salvation. Thus he received the training for his life's work, under the supervision of the fathers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

About the year 1855 he moved to North Alabama and for five years was pastor of the Center Star Church. Returning to Tennessee he again took work in the bounds of Richland Presbytery for about eighteen years. His last work in the state being a pastorate of nine years at Savannah, and Ross Church, in Hardin County.

In 1878 he moved to Western Texas. At this time the city of Ft. Worth was "out west," and the terminus of the Texas and Pacific Railroad. He located eighty miles northwest of Ft. Worth. It was in this undeveloped country that he did the hardest, most self-sacrificing, and yet most fruitful labor of his life--supporting his family from his farm and a few stock. For more than ten years he traveled on horseback long distances, preaching to the settlers, holding revivals, and planting the Banner of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. During these years of untiring effort and labor of love hundreds of souls were brought to a saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, a number of churches organized, and multitudes of gospel-hungry people fed. There were but few organized churches able to pay a salary, and no Missionary Board to back him, but he was moved by the constraining "love of Christ" and the souls of men, and a feeling of "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel."

Under the strain of these ten years and more of unceasing toil, his health failed, and in 1891, he retired from the active work of the ministry. When physical strength would permit, he would assist in revivals, with unabated interest in the cause he loved. In one of the last meetings he attended near his home, after an earnest sermon had been preached and an appeal made to the irreligious, without any apparent results, Father Walker, though too weak to preach, was overcome with anxiety to see sinners saved, and he walked into the altar, then back through the aisle of the church, exhorting and pathetically begging men to come to Christ, and when they resisted his appeal, he said with tears, "It does not matter how you treat me, I am only an old worn-out preacher, but I regret to see you treat my Lord so carelessly."

The last five months of his life were spent in patient waiting for the summons to leave earth's battlefield and go home to rest. On March 22, 1899, when he could only whisper, he asked some of the neighbors to sing and pray with him. They sang one of his favorite songs:

"Savior more than life to me,
I am clinging, clinging close to thee."

After the singing he said, "I wish I could help sing. Then he said to his son, who was then a young minister, "I want you to meet me in heaven and bring many sheaves with you." Thus his last thought on earth was of the salvation of lost souls.

As the mantle of Elijah fell on Elisha, so has that of Rev. W. C. Walker fallen on his son, Rev. W. J. Walker, of Vashti, Tex. Brother Walker finds time to preach some, notwithstanding the fact that he has the care of his aged and feeble mother, who requires his constant attention.
[Source: Our Senior Soldiers: The Biographies and Autobiographies of Eighty Cumberland Presbyterian Preachers. Compiled by The Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication. The Assistance of Revs. J. L. Price and W. P. Kloster is Greatfully Acknowledged. Nashville, Tenn.: The Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1915, pages 109-112.]

Walker Family Information

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Updated May 30, 2006