General CBF / Newsroom

Soul freedom is a God-breathed gift to all humankind, BJC’s Walker tells Cooperative Baptists upon retirement

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June 24, 2016

By Carrie McGuffin

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BJC General Counsel Hollyn Hollman

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nearly 750 Baptists gathered Friday at the annual Religious Liberty Council Luncheon at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly to celebrate Brent Walker’s 27 years of service with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

Introducing Walker, BJC’s Executive Director since 1999, BJC General Counsel Hollyn Hollman offered words of gratitude for her longtime colleague and mentor. “I learned from the best,” she said.

“It’s like attending your own funeral,” Walker joked as he offered words of thanks and stories of joy.

Praising the great work of the 80-plus year old religious liberty agency, Walker expressed his excitement to spend six more months doing the work he enjoys, following in the footsteps of the cloud of witnesses he said inspires him each and every day.

“We are faithful to our Baptist roots,” Walker said. “We think theologically, believing that soul freedom is a God-breathed gift to all humankind.”

This faithfulness to Baptist roots and adherence to the vision of defending and extending religious liberty to all, he added, has presented a number of situations where the work holds together dyads of saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ on countless issues.

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BJC Executive Director J. Brent Walker

Over the course of four different presidents, two Oval Office visits, eight Supreme Court Justices and one meeting on Capitol Hill with Bono, Walker has served with great passion and wisdom, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, the late James Dunn, who upon his own retirement, Walker added, said, “I’m Dunn, but I’m not finished.”

“He’s still not finished,” Walker said. “His legacy continues through me and through us.”

This legacy, Walker added, is that of sticking to Baptist principles and biblical foundations. Over the BJC’s 80 year history and into the future, he said, BJC’s work “continues to be a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Now, let’s all go forward together to defend and extend religious liberty for all of God’s children,” Walker concluded, citing the mission and vision of the BJC.

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