In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Fred Walker, 1934-2024

Portrait of Fred Walker. IMB Photo

Fred Walker, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in East Africa and the Caribbean, died May 4, 2024, in Jacksonville, Florida. He was 89.  

Fred was born Nov. 12, 1934, in Harrisburg, Illinois, to the late Samuel and Emma Walker. He graduated from Chester High School in Chester, Illinois, and received the Bachelor of Arts from East Texas Baptist College, Marshall, and the Master of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri. 

Fred did not grow up going to church but accepted Christ as his Savior during a revival meeting in 1949. As Fred grew as a Christian, he felt God wanted him to become a preacher and made his decision public.  

After high school, he worked for American Steel and Wire. In May 1957, Fred was drafted into the Army, but still felt God’s call to preach the gospel. When he got out of the Army, he met Betty Akery, his future wife. While seeking appointment Fred wrote, “She helped me determine in my own life to seek and follow the will of God. It was also through her that I came to see the needs of the foreign mission field.”  

Fred and Betty were married on December 19, 1959. Together, they looked toward the mission field as they completed their education and Fred pastored several churches. 

In 1968, the International Mission Board appointed Fred and Betty missionaries to East Africa. After serving in Kenya and Tanzania, they transferred to the Caribbean Island of Dominica. After 27 years of missionary service Fred and Betty wrote, “‘Blessed’ best describes our journey. We were blessed through giving of ourselves in evangelism, church planting, church development, pastoring, theological education, literacy, etc. Even greater blessings came to us through our nationals from their love for God and His Word, their freedom in worship and their zeal for witnessing.” 

Fred is survived by Betty, his wife of 64 years; his son Alan Walker (Amy); and his grandchildren, Jacob and Jessica.   

A Celebration of Life was held May 31 at Neptune Baptist Church, Neptune Beach, Florida, with burial in Jacksonville National Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida. 

Donations in his memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center — IMB Generosity. 

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