Samuel Weaver Walker was born to Mary Robinson and Reverend James S Weaver on October 19, 1919, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Adopted at an early age, he was blessed to know and to be loved by Reverend Manassah R. Walker and Mrs. Lucy D. Walker as his parents. He grew up in the church parsonage and began his Christian journey early at Grace United Methodist Church.
He was educated in the public schools of New Orleans where he graduated from McDonogh 35 High School. After voluntarily serving in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1944 in England and Germany, he completed his undergraduate work at Dillard University and later earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Still later, he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Gammon.
Reverend Walker met the former Gwendolyn Lawson while at Dillard. He found her to be a beautiful bride on August 20, 1952. Together, they lovingly raised three sons.
Reverend Walker was licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ three years after the Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and The Methodist Protestant Church united to become the Methodist Church in 1939. The setting was Grace United Methodist Church, the occasion was the New Orleans District Conference, and the date was July 24, 1942. The late Reverend T.R. Albert was the presiding District Superintendent, Reverend T.R. Harris was the host pastor, and M. Black was secretary of the conference.
During his career in ministry, Reverend Walker led a number of Methodist churches in New Orleans, including Hartzell, Peoples, Mount Zion, Brooks, Bethany and Napoleon. He also served as pastor at Mount Olive in Bastrop, Newman in Alexandria, Wesley in Pineville, and Camphor Memorial and Neely, both in Baton Rouge.
To God’s glory, Pastor Walker won many souls to Jesus Christ. Under his leadership churches grew and were able to purchase properties and to liquidate mortgages, to establish mission funds and building funds, and to plan for the future.
He helped to organize the Heritage Corporation in Baton Rouge. The group secured Federal funds to build an 82 unit Gold Medallion apartment complex for moderate income families at a cost of $1,211,885.00.
In 1978, Dr. Walker became president of the Board of Directors of Lafon Nursing Home at a critical time in its 100+ year history. Under his leadership, Federal funds were again secured to build a new facility. At a cost of $1,502,406, the new Lafon Nursing Home facility was completed in 1984.
Reverend Walker departed this life on March 18, 2008, following a brief hospital stay. Both he and his wife lived in Madison, Mississippi, following the Hurricane Katrina disaster. While there, he made a host of new friends who will miss him. He was dearly loved by family and friends. He would always grace social gatherings with a hearty appetite, a laugh or smile, and words of encouragement for any who needed them. He was preceded in death by his parents, Manassah Walker and Lucy D. Walker, and by his sister, Ara Mae Parker.
He will be missed by his wife, Gwendolyn Lawson Walker. Other survivors include sons, Robert N. Walker (Norma Jean) of Marysville, Washington, Samuel W Walker, Jr., (Vernadette) of Madison, Mississippi, Kenneth C Walker of Marysville, Washington; grandchildren, Avianca Walker of Pasadena, California, Samonne Walker Montgomery (Marcus) of Piscataway, New Jersey, Carissa Walker of Marysville, Washington, Elan Walker Patterson (Eddie Jerome) of Austin, Texas, and Samuel W. Walker III; sisters-in-law, Shirley Edwards and Gloria Lawson of Detroit, Michigan, and Lucyjane Walton (John) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; nieces, Marilyn Parker-Brooks (Leonard) of Los Angeles, California, and Kelly Walton of New Orleans, Louisiana; nephews, Candice Edwards of Detroit, Michigan, and Stanley Edwards (Pat) of Detroit, Michigan; and a host of grand nephews and nieces.
Source: 2008 Louisiana Annual Conference Journal