Harold Walker (1918-2004)
Harold Walker's influence has continued since his home-going. He is a living legacy of faith. For me he stands alongside others in Hebrew's famous "Hall of Faith" chapter. I first met Harold in 1984 when I met his daughter Cheryl. She and I were married in 1985.
Harold came to the Lord through the influence of Nita Fulsom. Harold and Jack Fulsom were Navy buddies in World War 2. Jack introduced Harold and Nita. Harold wanted to date her and the only way she would allow it was if he was going to church. For him it was an easy price to pay, but he had no idea how much God would do for him. Soon he was converted, accepting by faith the promise of Christ's forgiveness and newness of life, and a year late was married to Nita. And he began to serve the Lord in every way the Lord enlightened his walk. Even as a young Christian he was discipled in the area of stewardship. I don't know if he was ever taught stewardship with these specific words, but he was a walking testament to them: Generosity in Treasure, Talent, Time and Touch.
Treasure: Harold learned the biblical principle of 10% tithing to the Lord through the storehouse (the Church). And he began to give systematically, faithfully and obediently. However, out of his gratitude to Christ, expressed in phrases such as, "The Lord has been so good to me and has forgiven me" he determined that 10% was a minimum, not a maximum of his obedience. And he made a commitment that if God expected 10% that he would give 20% because of the overwhelming goodness of God. And that is what he did, his whole life. Often it was sacrificial, yet the 20% tithe was always the first fruit of every paycheck. His understanding of stewardship was not limited to his finances.
Talents: He also gave of his talents as a plumber and mechanic to the needy, particularly the widowed and the orphaned. His life was blessed in so many ways, and while he never became a particularly wealthy man (by the world's standards) he was blessed beyond measure by his children in service to the Lord, and through God's provision of his daily needs and more.
Time: Harold was a dedicated layman. He always supported his pastor and the Church. He was the kind of layman that every Pastor hoped to have. He dedicated his time to the work of the church, and gave of his time to others.
Touch: Some folks give generously, share their talents freely, and give of their time frequently, but they do it reluctantly and without joy. Stewardship reminds us that we should give of our talents, treasure and time with a joyful heart. Harold always demonstrated the joy of the Lord. And I'm convinced he did so because he had learned the real meaning of stewardship: "God owns everything" and he was merely a manager of the resources (time, talent, treasure) the Lord entrusted to him.