John Walker was a retired farmer who lived outside of Rodney — a small town in Southwestern Ontario. He was an uncomplicated man who came to a saving knowledge of Jesus through an Oral Roberts television program. He was kind, generous and had a deep trust in both the grace and mercy of God.
Who was John Walker?
How did the John Walker program start?
- During the summer of 1985, a high school student by the name of Shannon Walker (no relation) was registered to take accounting at a large publicly-funded university. However, it appeared that the Lord was shutting every door in that direction. This was particularly evident when she was denied any kind of student loan and would not have been able to attend university without some manner of financial assistance. Could the Lord have something better?
- That “something better” led to a phone call to Brian Kempster, a lawyer and member of the Board of Governors of St. Stephen’s University. During that call Brian promised her a scholarship for the next four years. What Shannon didn’t discover until later, was that no scholarship currently existed – Brian was simply acting on faith that the Lord would provide that money. And true to His character, this is exactly what the Lord did.
- Within a week, John Walker had a meeting with Brian Kempster. Brian casually asked John if he had ever considered assisting a student to attend university who could not otherwise afford to do so. John said yes, and pulled out his cheque book. Brian thought that this was too easy, so he repeated the question. John again said yes and told of how the Lord had been preparing his heart to respond at the appropriate time.
- John Walker attended the convocation ceremonies in 1986 where Shannon received her Life Base Diploma. And to her joy, John also attended convocation on May 19, 1989 when Shannon was awarded her Bachelor of Arts Degree. When John went to be with the Lord in 1991 he graciously remembered St. Stephen’s University in his will.
- As Shannon states: “Without John’s blessing into my life, my four years at St. Stephen’s University would not have been possible. These four years were the academic and spiritual cornerstone of my life. I praise God that John’s continued generosity will enable others to receive this same blessing.”