Yoncalla to Yoncalla in 50 years – Alan D. Walker

Author: Boise Bible College
Published on: July 23, 2020

Faithfulness in ministry has marked the nearly 50-year journey of Alan Walker from his small hometown in Oregon through many ministries and hardships and back to his hometown.

Alan grew up in Yoncalla, a small town near Drain south of Eugene. He enjoyed the small-town life, and when he graduated from Yoncalla High School, he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” Today, he is still succeeding, as God works through Him.

Out of high school, he was a new Christian and had never heard of a Bible college, much less one located in faraway Boise, Idaho. His minister encouraged him to attend at least one year, and he agreed. Boise was a bit overwhelming at first for a small-town kid, and it took a lot of getting used to. But he stayed and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelors’s degree.

The professors at Boise Bible College had their unique ways of teaching, both in the classroom and through the examples of their lives. Carl Anderson was especially influential. Alan often picked Carl up in the morning and drove him to campus. These times in the car provided for pleasant visits that were as much fun as they were meaningful and thought-provoking.

BBC set for Alan a foundation spiritually, taught him the discipline of study, and gave him the eagerness to lead people to Christ. Those principles have been a guide for him throughout life.

Life After Boise Bible College

On the Monday following graduation he started at Coos Bay Church of Christ, Coos Bay OR as Associate/Youth Minister. Sixteen months later, he was called to follow Galen Farnsworth (BA’60) as Minister of Springfield Church of Christ, Springfield OR, and remained there 19 years. All four of his children were born in Springfield. It was an excellent ministry that included moving into a new building and growing the church to about 170.

His next ministry was about 40 blocks to the west as Minister of Evangelism for Mt. Vernon Church of Christ for two years. They went through a tough time during these years that ended in a divorce. He resigned from the ministry, and for the next three years, worked various jobs, the last one being with Umpqua Bank. During this time, he met and married Donita Riley; they’ve now been married 19 years. She has been a great partner for him in life and ministry.

Together they attended Drain Church of Christ and Oakland Church of Christ (which are only a few miles apart), then did an eight-month internship in Yoncalla. Then the Church of Christ in Arcata, CA, called them to serve. This church was where Doyle Farnsworth had served and the home church of our current Board Chairman, Harold Gott. The church was small and struggling. After three years, the Yoncalla Church of Christ called the Walkers to minister with them. The thought of moving home some 35 years after leaving to attend Boise Bible College was both challenging and consoling. It was great to be back home, and the church had a desire to grow. Alan and Donita are now beginning their thirteenth year.

Alan returned to school and graduated in 2018 with a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University. He now spends some of his evenings counseling in offices in Eugene, Cottage Grove, and Yoncalla. He’s also a big supporter of Christian camping and especially encourages attendance at Grove Christian Camp.

He has four children and two step-children. Together in their blended family, he and Donita have 12 grandchildren.

Alan started in the small town of Yoncalla, attended college in the city of Boise, served in ministry in Oregon and California, and returned to small-town Yoncalla, all along allowing God to impact many lives through his humble service.

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