Walker, John Thomas

(July 27, 1925-Sept. 30, 1989). Bishop and first African American to graduate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was born in Barnesville, Georgia. He received his B.A. from Wayne State University in 1951 and his B.D. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1954. Walker was ordained deacon on July 18, 1954, and priest on Feb. 19, 1955. He was rector of St. Mary’s Church, Detroit, from 1955 until 1957, and he taught at St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire, from 1957 until 1966. While there, he took a leave of absence to teach at the Bishop Tucker Theological College in Mukono, Uganda. From 1966 until 1971, Walker was canon of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Washington. He was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Washington on June 29, 1971, and served in that position until he was elected Bishop Coadjutor on June 12, 1976. On July 1, 1977, Walker became the Bishop of Washington, a position he held until his death. In 1978 he assumed the additional responsibility of dean of the Cathedral. He died in Washington, D.C.