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April-May 2017

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ONE TO ONE: Lessons About Life, Ministry, and Grandkids


A Positive Role Model

At approximately 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Geneva Walker was quietly ushered into the Lord’s presence. Surrounded by her family, she passed from this life without a great deal of attention or fanfare. That’s precisely the way she would have wanted it. It’s the same way she lived her life and served her Savior—with a low profile and unassuming.

Early in her life, she learned the valuable lessons of hard work and taking responsibility for her actions. She developed a servant’s heart from the years she spent in the parsonage as a pastor’s wife and mother of three. She managed to achieve the rare balance between being firm yet kind. You always knew where she stood, and that she loved you unconditionally.

At one of our visits during her hospitalization I remarked to her family, “Geneva is a ‘discontinued model.’ They don’t make them like her anymore.” Her humble spirit and strong work ethic uniquely qualified and equipped her to serve as an employee of International Missions for many years. For her, it was more than a job. It was a ministry.

More recently, Geneva worked part-time in the Executive Office during the convention preregistration process. With the patience of Job, she painstakingly checked and double-checked lists of registrant data, then stuffed envelopes with name badges, ribbons, tickets, and related materials. Once the process was complete, she made herself available to serve as a volunteer behind the registration counter during the convention. She cheerfully logged long hours without complaint.

Her outward attractiveness was matched only by her inward beauty. She always conducted herself with dignity and grace. Despite facing some physical challenges during her later years, Geneva had a strong constitution and displayed remarkable stamina. During a period of life when many choose to back away from commitment and involvement, she chose to remain engaged and active in the Lord’s work.
Of all Geneva’s admirable qualities, two in particular stand out to me. One was her dependability. If she told you she would do something, she did it. She was always on time (usually early) and a self-starter. She needed little or no supervision. Once given a task, you could depend on her to do it and do it right the first time.

She was also meticulous. Her attention to detail was extraordinary. She refused to be measured by the “good enough to get by” standard. She strove for perfection. Although she didn’t always achieve her goal, it was never due to a lack of effort. In that regard she is a vanishing breed.

When Geneva Walker entered the portals of Glory late Wednesday afternoon, I’m convinced the guardians of heaven found her pre-registration documents all in order in the Lamb’s Book of Life. She leaves behind the legacy of a life well lived. And while she may be a “discontinued model,” she is still, nonetheless, a model…a positive role model.

Thank you, Geneva, for leaving us such clear example to follow.


About the Column

One to One is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life, ministry...and the joys of grandchildren.



©2017 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists