Elder Bill Walden  


Servant of God  

May 1935 - May 2016


A favorite passage:           

 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. Philippians 1:3-6 


Having known Elder Billy Joe Walden (Brother Bill) for the past thirty plus years in our church affiliations, and for the past twenty or so years on a more personal and brotherly level; and through our work on Zion's Lamp, which grew from our mutual desire to walk in the old paths. We shared many hour long (and often longer) weekly phone visits (Which some were limited only by Sister Frances, Brother Bills wonderful and faithful companion of 52 years, calling him away for other duties; usually supper.)

In early 2002 we began to discuss the idea, and the need for an “Old Line Primitive Baptist” publication, centered on doctrinal truths, with articles and information kept  in a short, easy to read format, so as to encourage folks to read it, whether they might have a few minutes or  even longer.

So, after consulting with some other brethren, and asking them  to act as Associate  Editors and Correspondents, we published the Inaugural Issue of Zion's Lamp in January of 2003. In the 2003 issue, and every issue up to this date, Brother Bill wrote the lead article.

His first article, in Zion's Lamp was titled “Excellency of Speech” and the last one he wrote for the publication was titled “Election.” Every article Zion's Lamp has published from Brother Bill over the past 45 quarterly issues have remained true to the principles of speaking excellent wisdom, and publishing the doctrines of grace.

Brother Bill was not drafted into this undertaking, for this effort of service to the Lord's great people through the written word; he stepped forward. So we are not looking to replace him (which is not possible); but praying there will be another to step forward; which after all is demonstrated in the church as it is delivered to us from generation to generation.

As a brother, a yoke fellow, a father in the ministry , and a dear, dear friend both in years of fellowship, and of experience; with 54 years as an elder and pastor among the Primitive Baptists, with 46 years as pastor of his home church “Pilgrims Rest PBC of Stratton, TX; and 8 year at Corpus Christi Church, which was his first church to serve as Pastor, and part of which was served concurrently with Stratton. Brother Bill left behind many wonderful messages and teachings we will cherish among our chiefest experiences in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brother Bill left behind several principles he tried to live by, which he probably has shared with many of his brethren in the Lord. There are four which I would like to share, which have been special and effective in my life and study of God's word:

• “If it is God's work we are doing, then God is in the work.”
• “Don't devote time to studying what the Bible don't say.”
• “Both in your life and your ministry; you must meet people where they are.”
• “The three most important things the minister can do in visitation of the afflicted is listen, listen, listen.”

There are many things which our dear brother has left us for remembrances of his life and his ministry. This theme was wonderfully illustrated by Brother Bill in a funeral he preached a few years ago, for Sister Hermina (Mamie) Hanks, at Alum Creek Cemetery, near Smithville, TX; of which I was blessed to be a witness.

He used 2 Kings 2:1-15, as the passage of Scripture for his message on the blessings of God in the life of Sister Hanks, which she has left behind.

Elijah had a mantle (a garment or robe) with which he showed the power of God in his work as a prophet of the most High God. His mantle was cast upon Elisha when he was called of the Lord to be prophet in the stead of Elijah. He also used it when the Lord sent him to Jericho, and he smote the waters of Jordan, that they parted before him and Elisha to pass over, when Elijah was to be carried up into heaven.

As they went on and Elijah desired to do something for Elisha, and asked him what it might be: Then Elisha requested a double portion of the spirit possessed by Elijah; which Elijah said, would be granted if he saw him when he was taken up to heaven. So, when Elijah was taken up into heaven, his mantle fell from him and Elisha took up the mantle of Elijah. He then smote the same river Jordan with Elijah's mantle, and the Lord once again parted the water for him, just as He had for Elijah.

The thoughts of Brother Bill on this passage were: “What Sister Mamie had left behind from the blessings of the Lord in her life, will work for those she left behind, and will work for those we all leave behind just as well as it worked for her, and us, when they are taken up and used in the same faith.”

So, if I have a remembrance of Brother Bill to share; it would be for us all to remember his great number of hours spent in the study and meditation of God's word; his faithfulness and dedication to the house of God as the “Pillar and ground of the truth;” his godly conduct in his community; his routine visits of the sick and afflicted in hospitals and nursing homes (both PB and others of the Lords children); his good report from within the church and from without; and as a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather.

Brother Bill did not take these things to heaven, and they have not been hid in his tomb. As they have fallen from him into the lives of so many of us, let us take up the godly lessons he was blessed to leave us; and let us feast upon them in our meditations upon the precious memories we now have, and to apply them in our godly walk.

“The same hand which led him through scenes most severe has kindly assisted him home.” That same hand will lead us through many of the same trials; and will surely assist us home as well.

Words cannot express the Love and appreciation we hold for Brother Bill and how we will miss the sweet gift the Lord gave him to share with us. Brother Bill cannot be replaced; but we can earnestly continue in prayer, that the Lord God will continue to raise up good men of like report as he, as we wait in hope for the Lord to carry us home.

Let us run with patience dear brethren and sisters,

Elder John P. (Pat) Young,  Editor