Photo: Walker Moore and David Guion | November 13, 2012 | Mexico Prep Trip for Christmas
One month ago today, Monday morning, June 26, 2023, my friend and missionary, Walker Moore passed away unexpectedly. In that moment, he stepped out of time and into eternity, most certainly receiving a “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
As best I recall, I met Walker on Friday morning, March 7, 1997. (I remember the date because he spoke to our students during a chapel service at our Christian school and I have my notes from his talk in my journal.) Over the next 26 years, Walker and I became dear friends. We were able to encourage one another during the difficult seasons of life and we rejoiced with each other during moments of great celebration. Throughout those years, we spoke regularly, and I was blessed to join Walker each summer for several years as he and his mission-sending organization trained student missionaries to go as teams on several month-long international trips to various countries.
I grew to love his wife, Cathy and their family – Jeremiah and his wife Erin, Caleb and his wife Adrian, as well as his three grandsons (whom Walker adored ferociously!)
If you knew Walker or were ever around him for more than just a few minutes, he would have a story to tell you. And man, did he have the stories! Many times, that story would start with the phrase, “Let me tell you what great things God has done!” One of Walker’s favorite stories – especially if he had just met you – was to talk about an event that took place ten years ago. His story would often begin like this, “I’m Walker Moore. I carried a cross to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. You can Google it!”
This “mountain top” event was in commemoration of 40 years of training and taking students missionaries all around the world to the nations. In 2021, after more than four decades of faithful ministry, Walker made a shift of focus.
“When I retired, I knew God wasn’t done with me yet. But I also knew that I needed to change where I expended my energy. I had spent 45 years leading a missions organization; planting churches; working in churches, youth camps, Disciple Nows and conferences; and writing books. When I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with the cross in 2013, God spoke to me to lay the cross down and let the next generation pick it up. In the next season of my life, I was to be a mentor, an encourager, a sounding board for those who were now taking up the cross. God shifted me from leading to walking alongside those who seek to follow Him.” [Source: Tulsa Beacon]
This is how Back 40 Ministries, Inc. [Back40.org] was born.
Since his passing last month, I have gone back through my journals and sermon notes and marveled at the mighty things God has done in and through the “fantastical” life of my friend and missionary. Over the years, Walker taught me so many things, many of which have come to be called, “Walker-isms.” I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to my friend and missionary by sharing with you just a few of the things that I learned from the late Walker Moore.
Some Things I Learned from My Friend and Missionary, Walker Moore
“When Jesus enters the picture, the odds don’t matter. They’re always 100 percent.”
“Jesus said, ‘I am the vine, and you are the branches.’ We are the Branch Offices of Jesus!”
“Let me tell you what great things God has done!”
“…Good things are happening here, and I just want to brag on Jesus.”
“Everything we do should be done for an Audience of One.”
“A willing witness says, ‘Let my next heartbeat be a heartbeat of obedience.'”
“My disappointments are God’s divine appointments.”
“A testimony is greater than a title.”
“Whenever a willing witness encounters a seeking soul, a divine appointment takes place.”
“JESUS + nothing = Everything!”
Walker Dean Moore // October 7, 1951 – June 26, 2023
The work of Back 40 Ministries, Inc. is continuing under the direction of Walker’s son, Caleb Moore. Caleb is the pastor of Catoosa First, just outside of Tulsa, OK. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. Please visit Back40.org to be a part of this ongoing work.
I miss my friend and missionary, Walker Moore. And I will miss his oft-repeated salutation, “You are your Father’s favorite child!”
P.S. There is a passage in the Bible that, whenever I read it, I believe I will always think of my friend and missionary, Walker Moore.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 ESV
With this one passage, for over four decades, Walker encouraged thousands of people, myself included, to live our lives in the Awe of God!
The Awe Factors
Awe Factor #1 – Remaining in the Teaching of His Word… makes us deeper.
Awe Factor #2 – Remaining in the Fellowship of His Presence… makes us closer – to Him and to one another.
Awe Factor #3 – Remaining in the Posture of Worship… makes us stronger.
Awe Factor #4 – Remaining in the Place of Prayer… makes us focused.