Pastors' Memoirs

Gordon Davis Walters, Sr., 1923-2002

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  The Rev. Gordon D. Walters Sr. was born on December 7, 1923, to John and Bertha Walters. Gordon was born on Tangier Island, Virginia. As a little boy he sailed from Tangier Island to Morattico, Virginia, in a sailing sloop with his family. There in Morattico his father, Captain John, introduced the seafood business to local residents who had previously farmed. Gordon served his country during WWII and received five campaign stars for battle. Returning from the war, he married his beloved wife, Elizabeth. From this union, four children were born: Gordon Jr. (Mike), Sue, Bertha, and John. Gordon became a master chef and his culinary art was visible at Windmill Point Marina and Resort. Gordon felt the call to full-time ministry and became a lay pastor to the Brunswick Charge, Petersburg District. There he served for 13 years. While there, he was ordained Deacon in 1974 and elected Rural Minister of the Year for 1981-82.

  There are heroes of peace, who save and build, as well as heroes of war, who destroy and kill. "Everyman," St. Francis of Assisi once said, "is just so great as he is in the eyes of God — and no greater." And an even better and greater judge of greatness than St. Francis has said that he who would be greatest among men must be servant of all. Loving, unselfish, altruistic, self-sacrificing service to the largest number of one’s fellow men is the regal measure and proof of true greatness. Gordon was sometimes on perilous voyages and was there instilled with courage and hardihood of sailors who brave ocean storms served his Lord well.

  He was a man of little formal education but greatly endowed with tremendous mechanical ability. While pastor at Brunswick he helped construct fellowship halls, education buildings, and numerous improvements to parishioners’ homes.

  Not underneath any stately dome like that of St. Paul’s Cathedral or in any consecrated crypt does the body of this Methodist preacher rest. Yet there — under God’s blue sky, the dome not made with human hands, in a grave unadorned save by a modest footmarker of granite that tells the passerby when he was born and when he died — his body is at rest. He was a man who kept back nothing, who preached the gospel of Christ.

— Mike Walters, son



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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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