John Walker, Senior Pastor

The Walker's

Hello, I'm John Walker, the lead pastor at Fairview Avenue Brethren in Christ Church, FABIC for short.

I have a passion for helping people understand and apply the Bible, both in preaching and teaching in a variety of settings. I love small groups and informal discussions because they help us to dig deeper into God's word and discover more of who God is and how He wants us to live out our lives as Christians. I hope you'll join us in our journey to grow in faith and get to know Jesus better.

I have served with Brethren in Christ and affiliate ministries for about 30 years, full and part-time, including 20 years of service as a church pastor in both Canada and the United States. In recent years, I have worked in mental health housing as one of the directors of Paxton Ministries in Harrisburg, a ministry that houses people with intellectual disabilities and those diagnosed with mental illness. I count my time spent there as precious and life-changing. It gave me a new appreciation of some of the many deep struggles that people endure in life and a greater understanding of the need for churches to reach out to those who struggle.

For several years, I have also been involved with addiction recovery, both as a pastor and as a volunteer. In my youth, I had a drug problem that almost cost me my life through overdose. In His mercy, God spared me and began to lead me on a life-long journey of discovery. I know what is to struggle and fail, but I also know what is like to embrace Jesus and succeed. In recent years, I served as lead teacher and as a group facilitator with Celebrate Recovery at Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church and currently serve on the board of At the Cross, Recovery (ATCR), a new ministry that focuses on helping people overcome their addictions. If you would like to talk, or need assistance with where to go next in your journey, I would be only too happy to meet and pray with you or your family, even if all you need is a little encouragement and support.

I have also worked in a variety of jobs over the years in between pastoral changes or as needed for support. I grew up in the restaurant business and have helped my family run a small hotel and restaurant. I began my professional career as a radio announcer and program director, a career I left when I returned to college to pursue ministry in the fall of 1982. Over the years, I have served with the Canadian Army Reserves, worked as an assistant chef in a resort hotel, worked as a painter in my father-in-law's business, served as a communications specialist for a disaster relief agency, been a child care worker in both a group home and a medium security boys home, and a sales clerk at a Christian book store. However, believe it or not, most of my adult life has been spent in ministry. God takes us all kinds of interesting places.

I love people and enjoy good company and conversation. My hobbies include photography, gardening, computers and writing for publication. Some of my recent stories have appeared in the Chicken Soup series of books: O' Canada (November 2011), Hooked on Hockey (November 2012), and Angel Encounters (February 2013). For several years I was involved in the sport of skydiving and have shot skydiving and BASE jumping video for Real TV and Fox television.

My wife, Bonnie, is just finishing her work as a Computer Lab Resource teacher at Hershey Christian School in Hershey, PA. She is also an online professor for Fresno Pacific University in California. She has served in various ministry roles including Christian education and as Regional Bible Quiz Director for the Central Conference (now Great Lakes Conference). We have two daughters, Charity, who lives in Philadelphia where she works for a property management firm, and Stephanie, who is a Senior at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. She plans to serve a short term with Hope International in the Ukraine during her spring semester.

If I can serve you in any way or if you just want to chat, please drop me an e-mail at Better yet, come by and check us out on a Sunday.

In Christ,

Pastor John