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Dallas Walker Jr. with church member Brenda Jones outside the Wyoming Avenue Church of Christ in Detroit in 2
Photo provided by Montez Miller

Detroit minister Dallas Walker dies at 83

Dallas A. Walker Jr., a Detroit evangelist known nationwide for his knowledge of the Bible and speaking ability, died Nov. 21. He was 83.

Walker served as minister for the Wyoming Avenue Church of Christ in Detroit for 46 years, but his influence extended far beyond the Motor City.

In August, members of the Detroit congregation conducted a “Love, Honor and Appreciation,” service for Walker that he attended.

Leonardo Gilbert, minister for the Sheldon Heights Church of Christ in Chicago, said Walker was one of several ministers from Montgomery, Ala., who dramatically impacted congregations across the brotherhood, likening him to Daniel Harrison, Fred Gray and others.

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“Dallas Walker was a teacher of the word. He was a preacher’s preacher, and yet his most powerful attribute was his humility,” Gilbert said. He added that Walker was a strong supporter of the biannual Crusade for Christ under Harrison’s leadership.

Fred Gray speaks at the Nashville Christian Institute's final reunion.

Fred Gray speaks at the Nashville Christian Institute’s final reunion.

“They were great friends,” Gilbert said.

Gray, 91, a prominent civil rights advocate, attorney for Rosa Parks, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was a childhood friend of Walker.

“Dallas Walker was an outstanding evangelist,” Gray said. “He grew up in the same congregation I grew up in, the Holt Street Church of Christ in Montgomery.

“I will be 92 on the 14th of December, and I have talked to him for years,” Gray said. “I called him recently because I have a Martin Luther King speaking engagement on Jan. 16, and I was trying to locate a church.”

Many of Walker’s sermons may be found on YouTube with such titles as “God Made Us, Let Him Shape Us for Him,” “The Love of God” and “The Gospel Truth.” A particularly well-known message was one he preached in 2017 at the Elwood Park Church of Christ in Detroit — a sermon titled “Remarkable Things.”

Walker was born Aug. 6, 1939, in Vernon, Ala. He attended Lamar County Training School. After graduation, he enrolled in Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas.

He went on to earn degrees in psychology from the University of Detroit and a master’s degree in counseling education from Wayne State University, also in Detroit.

In 2015, the Detroit City Council named a portion of Wyoming Avenue after Walker.

Brenda Jones, then the council’s president, attends the Wyoming Avenue church.

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Jones called the dedication historic and well deserved because of Walker’s long years of service to the congregation and because it was “the first street in the city of Detroit with a secondary street named for a Church of Christ minister.”

Walker was preceded in death by Beverly A. Walker, his wife of 64 years. He is survived by numerous family members and children.

Filed under: Crusade for Christ Dallas Walker Elwood Park Church of Christ Fred Gray Holst Street Church of Christ Leonardo Gilbert memorial Milestones News Obituaries obituary Sheldon Heights Church of Christ Southwestern Christian College Top Stories Wyoming Avenue Church of Christ

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