Rev. Roland Lenwood Walker, Jr., “Len” of Thomson, GA, passed away of pancreatic cancer peacefully in his home surrounded by his family on November 30, 2023.
The family will receive friends from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM on Friday, December 8, 2023 at Tim Stewart Funeral Home in Loganville. A Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, December 9, 2023 in the Loganville Chapel of Tim Stewart Funeral Home with Rev. Tom Atkins and Rev Mark Nysewander officiating.
Len was born on June 19, 1949, in Atlanta, GA. After graduating from R.E. Lee Institute (high school) in 1967, he received his college degree from Asbury College in 1971. Asbury College was a special place for his whole family. His grandfather was on the Board at Asbury; Len’s mother and father met at Asbury; and many other family members attended there. From 1975-1978 Len attended Asbury Seminary and was granted his Master of Divinity Degree.
Len was preceded in death by his father, Roland Lenwood Walker, Sr.; his mother, Jeanne Gamble Walker; and his sister, Beverly Walker Williams. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Marilynn McCollum Walker; his brother, Robert Wesley Walker (Debbie); five children: Jess Walker, Lindy Hildebrand (Marty), Brittany Cone (Nick), Rhett Walker (Kristen), and Charis Doster. Nine grandchildren survive: Marshall Hildebrand (Kadie), Mayes Hildebrand (Sydney), Matthew Hildebrand, Daniel Sapp, Maleigha Hildebrand, Mallory Hildebrand, Tucker Doster, Knox Doster and Brooks Walker. He is also survived by his great grandchildren: Larkin, Leander, Layla Mae and Lainey; and several nieces and nephews.
Len was a minister for over 47 years from 1976 until the time of his death. He served many churches: Salvisa and Joseph’s Chapel UMC (in Kentucky as a seminary student), Mount Vernon UMC, Jasper UMC, Loganville UMC, Trinity Church, Norcross UMC, Big Canoe Chapel, Flovilla UMC, Jenkinsburg UMC and was currently at Macedonia UMC. In these churches, Len performed hundreds of weddings and even more funerals. His ministry was a lifelong calling and he visited with thousands of sick or hurting people. He prayed personally for every need he was aware of and for most of the needs he prayed many times. Also, he rejoiced with people in their celebrations and joys of life…their victories and the proud moments that occurred. So many people from each of his former churches stayed in contact with him and reminded him just what an impact he had on their life.
From 1995-2011 (17 years) Len served as a State Representative for a district in Walton County. For his last few years there he was Chairman of the Higher Education Committee. Since he was moving out of his district to pastor a new church, he resigned from the Legislature. When Speaker of the House David Ralston died in 2022, Len was one of the two people (the other was Governor Brian Kemp) asked to speak at the memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda. He helped so many of his constituents while in office. From prisoners to patients to people in need, he was always available. Many of the other representatives and senators became lifelong friends.
As a family man and a man of faith, Len was truly blessed. He and his wife met and three years later they married. With five children, nine grandchildren, and four great grandchildren, he attended many of their activities and a lot of love was exchanged back and forth. Even as a young child if there was a baby around, Len could be found with them holding and snuggling the little one. When his two grandsons, Tucker and Knox, lived at Big Canoe with him, he loved them as his own and taught them Biblical and life principles. The boys would always help light the Advent candle on Christmas Eve at Big Canoe Chapel. He enjoyed playing golf and playing at the beach with each of his grandchildren through the years. He also constructed and designed a village for his electric trains, which he spent countless hours sharing with his family and friends.
Len’s father, grandfather, and cousin Mark were all ministers. Since his family moved around frequently during his childhood and rarely owned their own homes, Len had a place he called home. Indian Springs Holiness Campground was the location where he had a house and could really be “at home”. His grandfather built the house in 1958 and whenever he needed to pray, study, relax or just get away, he would get in his car and drive there. He was so excited to clean and get it ready for 10 days of camp meeting services each year. All five of his children and his grandchildren love attending and the memories there are unforgettable. On the weekends, there may be over 30 people in the house with one bathroom, no central air and no tv. For the past 20 years, Len has sat in his Brumby rocker on the front porch and stated, “This is where I want to live out my last days. My home is here, and I will be happy and at peace”. When circumstances did not allow him to continue with that plan, Len and Marilynn were able to move to Thomson, and he became pastor at Macedonia Methodist Church. The people at Macedonia were so loving and welcoming and a new home brought comfort and peace.
Len’s life was a life of faith. In the hospital, he told one of the doctors that his wishes for his last days were to be with his family and grow his faith with everyone around him. In other words, do what he had been doing his whole ministry. He succeeded and God will be well pleased with his faithful servant.
Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 670 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville, GA 30052. 770-466-1544. Please sign the online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com.
Reposted courtesy of Tim Stewart Funeral Home.
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