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At the start of construction of the new First Christian Church, Tim Walker wrote the 16th verse of the third chapter of the book of John, which tells of the gift of God’s son to the world and promises eternal life to believers, on a piece of steel used for the building.
The Bible passage was displayed prominently on two screens Tuesday afternoon in the completed church, as a source of solace to those mourning the loss of Walker and a reminder of the Elizabethtown mayor’s deep Christian faith.
Family, friends and colleagues filled the sanctuary of First Christian and flowers covered the stage. Elizabethtown city employees and members of city council were in attendance, as well as Walker’s fellow elected officials, including Hardin County Judge-Executive Harry Berry and state Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown.
First Christian Senior Minister Stuart Jones thanked the crowd for its “concern and compassion” toward Walker’s family.
“This has been shocking for so many because it is the loss of a wonderful man,” Jones said.
Walker’s son, Brandon Jones, spoke for the family. Jones recalled the wisdom that he and his siblings often sought from their dad, and how he sometimes gave them answers they didn’t want to hear. But the advice eventually would come to make sense.
“A year later, you’d look back and think, ‘How did he know that?’” he said.
Jones said Walker’s long involvement with the city of Elizabethtown brought them close relationships for which the family is thankful.
“We’ll always consider you guys family, too,” he said.
While Jones had difficulty at times getting out his words, he also elicited some fond chuckles from those in attendance at the filled 900-seat church. Speaking to his sister, Randi Jones, he pointed out they had lost one of just a few University of Kentucky fans among the family.
“It’s just you and me now Randi. We got to recruit,” he said, laughing.
Family Court Judge Brent Hall, a friend of Walker’s, said Walker’s faith made him stand out among those who serve others.
“He loved like Christ loved,” Hall said. “He was humble and kind. Tim would not want this attention.”
Hall said those in attendance were the fruits of Walker’s labor, and that Walker would want to see his love of service continue through them.
“We can increase the harvest that was started in Tim,” he said.
Walker was laid to rest in Elizabethtown Memorial Gardens. Mourners drove under a large American flag displayed by Elizabethtown and Central Hardin fire departments as they entered the cemetery.
At the gravesite, Terry Jones, who officiated the service, comforted the family with a promise of a reunion with Walker.
“Someday, God will bring us all together,” he said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.