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“Just Show Up” – A Celebration of One Woman’s Joy Living Life on Mission

Written by Ed Welch

“Just show up” is a simple phrase. But Becky Walker has spent her life putting it into practice. It’s fitting, then, that it was the theme of Walker’s last semester at Anderson University.

The Thursday before commencement, I tested positive for COVID,” said Anderson University Vice President for Christian Life Dr. Tracy Jessup. “Becky just showed up with chicken soup and chili. That is the epitome of your witness and your testimony on this campus… because you have shown up for countless students, faculty and staff at Anderson University.”

Walker has served as the associate campus minister for Anderson University Women’s Ministries for the last 15 years. She was recognized at a special retirement celebration ceremony last semester.

Anderson University President Evans Whitaker and his wife, Diane, joined students, faculty, staff and friends in the G. Ross Anderson, Jr. Student Center Theater to celebrate Walker’s ministry and to share stories of her tireless service to others, anytime and anyplace. Diane Whitaker shared how Walker quickly responded when she and her husband recently lost their mothers.

“You made a phenomenal difference in the life of this institution, in the lives of our students, faculty and staff, myself and Diane,” said Dr. Whitaker, who has known Walker since they were college students at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. The Whitakers urged Walker to work at Anderson University as an associate campus minister for women outreach and events. Walker accepted and faithfully served students for 15 years.

Becky Walker doesn’t describe what she does so much as a calling; it has simply been about obedience in following Jesus and letting him take the lead.

“I was a broken 19-year-old,” said Kendyl McElrath, who initially got to know Walker when she was a student and more recently as a coworker. “I had no idea how God was going to use Becky Walker in my life. She showed me that through Jesus broken people can be made whole again. Becky encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. From her I learned that ministry was more than the four walls of the church.”

In addition to her ministry role, Walker also pioneered the College of Christian Studies’ Women’s Ministry concentration. She has also taught American Sign Language courses after learning the language as a teenager. She worked with individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, and she and her husband, Dennis, have been actively involved in church planting and mission work. They served for six years as missionaries in Palestine.

Walker, whose own children are now adults, looks forward to spending more time with family members, including an eight-year-old boy she and Dennis fostered and recently gained full custody of. She will also continue serving Anderson University as an adjunct professor and is currently helping a deaf child with schoolwork.

“I think the greatest joy is relationships, just connecting with people,” Walker said. “I like to live life with people—not just a surface kind of thing, but something where we go deep. We have just a great discipleship relationship where we pour into each other and we work on spiritual priorities. It’s just such a joy many times to sit in the audience and watch God just work in the lives of women that I’ve worked with.