Obituaries for Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2007
Dr. James F. Walters
Dr. James F. Walters, a long time resident of Mobile, passed away in a local Birmingham hospital on Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at the age of 68.
He was born in Troy on July 18, 1938.
He was a graduate of Troy High School, Samford University in Birmingham, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, La. Dr. Walters most recently served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Mobile from 1984 until 2006. Licensed by Hephzibah Baptist Church, Troy in 1956, he was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by Lakewood Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1960.
During his college and seminary days, Dr. Walters served as pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Pinson, 1960-1961, and as associate pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., 1962-1964. Following his graduation from Southern Seminary, he served his fellow Baptists well, serving as associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Montgomery, 1964-1968; pastor of First Baptist Church in Opp, 1968 -1977; and First Baptist Church in Clanton, 1977-1984 before coming to First Baptist Church in Mobile in 1984, where he remained until his retirement this past December 2006.
During his pastorates, Dr. Walters served his community, the local Baptist Associations where he pastored, the Alabama Baptist State Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in a variety of volunteer service and leadership positions. More recently this involvement in community and Baptist circles included membership on the following:
Montgomery Ministerial Association (Program Chairman), Covington County Ministerial Association, Covington County Baptist Ministerial Association, Opp Baptist Ministerial Association, Chilton-Unity Baptist Association (serving at various times as moderator, president, or chairman of the associations)
€ Executive Committee, Mobile Baptist Association, 1984-2006
€ Board of Trustees, Mobile College (now University of Mobile), 1977-1990
€ Board of Governors, Judson College, 1989-present
€ Board of Mentors, Samford University, 1995-present
€ Home Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, 1979-1989
€ Rotary Club International, Mobile, Downtown Club, 1984-Present
(Appointed Paul Harris Fellow, 1989)
€ Board of Directors of Volunteers of America, South Alabama, 1984-present
€ President of Southern Seminary Alumni Association, 1989-1991
€ Board of Directors of Family Counseling Center of Mobile, 1989-1995
€ Community Board of Compassionate Friends, Mobile Chapter, 1998 – 2002
(Chairman of the Board, 1999-2002)
€ Executive Committee, State Board of Missions, Alabama Baptist State Convention, 1992-1997
€ Coordinating Council, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 1995-1998 and 2005-2006
€ Mobile Chamber of Commerce
€ Education Commission, Alabama Baptist State Convention, 2000-2002
Dr. Walters' commitment to the Lord expressed through the life and ministry of local churches, his leadership in community life, his faithful service, and his wise leadership are deeply appreciated and will be sorely missed. However, his influence will continue to live through those lives he touched and those who experienced his gentle nature and kind ways. Thanks be to God for such a one who lived with impeccable character, unquestionable integrity, an unwavering faith, and kindness of spirit.
Dr. Walters was preceded in death by his parents, Dar-Lee and James Walters of Troy; his sister, Mary Elizabeth Walters of Troy; and his father-in-law, Calvin R. McInnis of Dothan.
He is survived by his wife of over 49 years, the former Sarah McInnis of Dothan; a daughter and son-in-law, Kimberly and Matthew G. Hyde of Vestavia Hills; two precious granddaughters, Sarah Elizabeth and Mary Ashford Hyde of Vestavia Hills; his 17-year-old cat, Aubie; his mother-in-law, Velma C. McInnis of
Dothan; his sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Joe Ford of Dothan; his brother, Steven Walters of Demopolis; two sisters-in-law and brothers-in law, Charlotte and Fred Kelly of Alpharetta, Ga., and A.A. (Bud) and Glenda McInnis of Dothan; several nieces and nephews; his loving care givers, Richie Ann Cruz, Denise Hill, Tomeka Purifie, Felicia Williams and Myrna Gates.
A graveside service will be held on at 11 a.m. on Thursday from Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Dothan. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at the First Baptist Church of Mobile, 806 Government Street, Mobile, AL 36602 on Friday, May 23, 2007 at 11a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Mobile First Baptist Church Scholarship Fund.
Pallbearers will be his nephews, Don Thrash, James Ray Thrash, Ted Thrash and Steven Walters, and his brothers-in law, A.A. (Bud) McInnis and Fred Kelly.
The family would like to express their thanks to the staff of doctors, nurses, therapists, and support groups at Brookwood Medical Center, Kirklin Clinic, UAB Hospital, Hanover House, Spain Rehabilitation Center, and the UAB Palliative Care Center for the love and comfort given.