From North Carolina to Gaza, Associate Campus Minister for Women’s Ministries Becky Walker has followed Jesus—and encourages students to do the same no matter where their journey takes them
Nearly everyone who steps foot on Anderson University’s campus knows Becky Walker. As she walks across campus, notebook always in hand, she greets each person she passes with an affectionate, “Hey, honey! How are you?”
Walker, associate campus minister for women’s ministries, has balanced different responsibilities during her 13 years at Anderson University. These days, she hops around campus meeting women one-on-one, leading Women’s Ministry, pioneering the College of Christian Studies’ Women’s Ministry concentration and teaching American Sign Language courses.
“I draw my strength just from the Lord, from being in a personal, authentic, real relationship with him,” Walker said. “I try to share that with women, (and encourage them) to do the same.”
While many students know Walker, few know the ins and outs of her journey to Anderson University. She is brimming with fun facts: she is fluent in American Sign Language and Arabic, she has moved 22 times, she has two master’s degrees and she and her family lived in Gaza, Palestine, for a few years.
Walker said God began shaping her heart for ministry when she was just a child. She was one of five children, born and raised in Hamlet, North Carolina. When she was two years old, her father, a railroad worker, passed away in a train accident.
Her mother later remarried, and her stepfather also had two kids, making her large family even larger. She grew up constantly surrounded by people—which is partly why she feels at home on a college campus.
She said her oldest brother, Billy, was one of the most influential people in her life. He had cerebral palsy, and she and her parents and siblings took care of him. Though doctors told her mother that Billy wouldn’t live to be five years old, he lived to the age of 19.
“I think living with someone like that, where there was constant care and that kind of thing, you’re just constantly thinking of the needs of people,” Walker said. “It was a really big influence on what I do now.”
That’s why, even as a child, Walker was attracted to helping others. Her grandmother’s neighbor was deaf, and she took it upon herself to learn sign language as a middle schooler.
When she went to college in North Carolina years later, she jumped into interpreting for hearing-impaired students on campus and got involved with local ministries for those with disabilities. She also spent five summers during college doing mission work with the hearing-impaired.
I draw my strength just from the Lord, from being in a personal, authentic, real relationship with him. I try to share that with women, (and encourage) them to do the same.
— Becky Walker
Associate Campus Minister for Women’s Ministries
She majored in education, but as she neared the end of her undergraduate studies, Walker found herself at the crossroads. It’s a place familiar to many of the college women she meets with today—what’s next? She said it’s not all that complicated. We have one call in life: to follow Jesus.
“This has always been my theory: if things are laid in your lap, you do them,” Walker said. “It’s not about what you’re called to do, you just follow Jesus. If you look at characters in scripture, isn’t that what they did? They didn’t have choices; they just did what’s in front of them. They walked through the door.”
She felt God leading her to seminary, and she followed. She studied religious education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
God kept opening doors, and Walker kept leaping through them. She helped plant a church for the hearing-impaired in Texas, graduated from seminary, worked in vocational rehabilitation, got married, took master’s courses in American Sign Language and moved a few times.
And when she later mentioned international missions to her husband, Dennis, he came home from work the following day, threw paperwork on the table and said, “Let’s do it.”
They sold everything they had, packed up with their two-year-old daughter, and moved to Gaza—where there was a large school with more than 19,000 hearing-impaired students. Walker worked in the school and established a Palestinian sign language training center, which taught deaf people of all ages to read and provided vocational training.
When tensions heightened in Gaza, the Walkers came home to the United States. Walker returned to vocational rehabilitation and picked up her second master’s degree in the field. After a brief stint working at her undergraduate alma mater, Walker got a call from Anderson University inviting her to interview for the position she holds today.
For the last 13 years, AU has been her home. Walker said she’s blessed by her job because she can point women straight to the Bible and see God change students’ lives.
“If you’re not in a ministry, there’s always a ceiling … You can only go so far; you can only do so much,” Walker said.
“In this position, the ceiling just breaks. You can go deep with people, and you can talk very openly about your faith.”
At Anderson University, she prays for students on-the-spot and jots prayer requests in her notebook as women share their stories with her over coffee. And she teaches women around her to do the same. This year alone, Women’s Ministry matched 66 women together for one-on-one mentorship.
Sure, she gets tired sometimes. But she’s passionate about pointing women to Jesus and strengthening Anderson University’s Christian community—one student at a time.
“I love people, and I love people here,” Walker said. “I love that we can talk about God openly and see rescue. We can share hope. It’s a beautiful thing.”