Heaven’s gates opened February 23, and Dr. Paul L. Walker entered into his heavenly home.
Dr. Walker leaves a legacy far-reaching, including here at Mount Paran Christian School. His ministry at Mount Paran Church of God began in 1960, when the congregation worshipped at Hemphill Church of God in Atlanta. Construction of the current location on Mount Paran Road began in 1966, and the congregation held their first service in the new facility July 9, 1967, officially taking the name of Mount Paran Church of God.
As early as 1968, Dr. Walker was already making plans to expand the two-year-old facility to meet the needs of the community, including a day school. “It just isn’t proper that our splendid Christian education facilities should stand empty six days a week,” stated Dr. Walker to the church leadership. “The investment and the need are too great to justify such extravagance. This space should be fully utilized to provide a Christian day school for the children of our church and community…additional facilities are needed to qualify Mount Paran for a complete program of childcare and day school programs.”
His proposal resulted in the purchase of an adjoining 6.8 acres of property along Northside Parkway for the future expansion and addition of a multi-purpose building. Almost 10 years later, the church opened and dedicated the Family Life Center. The existing preschool program, which began in 1976, moved into this new facility, and it became the first home of Mount Paran Christian School.
Dr. Walker pastored Mount Paran Church of God through 1997. During this time, the church purchased 65-acres and 120,000 square feet of buildings in Marietta – Mount Paran North. The church became one church in two locations, and Mount Paran Christian School moved to the Mount Paran North facility.
It was also during this time that the school had the honor of hosting the President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, for a visit to promote his platform of family values. After much preparation by the Secret Service and FBI, the President arrived and was welcomed by Dr. Walker and Associate Pastor/MPCS School Board Chair Dr. Darrell Rice. President Bush met first with a small group of 25 students, teachers, and board members, then spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in the gymnasium. It was a highlight in the history of MPCS.
Eventually, the school became independent of Mount Paran Church of God, taking on the status of an independent Christian school. However, Dr. Walker and his family continued to be a part of the school, as his granddaughter attended MPCS. Alumna Ashten Walker ’09, daughter of Dr. Mark and Mrs. Udella Walker, was actively involved in the arts at MPCS appearing in numerous productions. In 2012, MPCS was honored to have Dr. Walker as the commencement speaker.
The impact Dr. Paul Walker had on our school, the church, the community, Atlanta, and globally cannot be measured. Our hearts and prayers are with Dr. Walker’s wife, Carmelita, their son, Dr. Mark Walker and wife Udella, and his grandchildren, Ashten and Justin.
More About Dr. Paul L. Walker:
- Pastor Emeritus, Mount Paran Church of God
- General Overseer of the Church of God
- Chancellor of Education for the Church of God
- Lee University Board of Directors (10 years)
- Attended Lee College, Presbyterian College, Emory University, and Georgia State University
- Authored numerous books, including How to Keep Your Joy, The Ministry of Worship, Counseling Youth, The Ministry of Church and Pastor, and Courage for Crisis Living