Herman & Birdie Walker
Under God's guidance and blessing, Herman and Birdie Walker served as faithful Seventh-day Adventist pioneers in the mountains of Western North Carolina for well over a half century. Although Herman dropped out of school at the fifth grade level to help support his family of fourteen siblings, he was a strong supporter of Christian education as was his wife Birdie, a graduate of Forest Lake Academy. Both of their sons graduated from Southern Missionary College, and both established careers in the educational ministry. Elder son, Leslie, taught construction trades at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College for more than thirty years and also served for many years as school board chair for Asheville Pisgah Church School. Younger son, Doug, spent his entire career of more than forty years in Adventist education, serving in a variety of capacities. His final almost two decades of service were spent as Director of Education for the Southwestern Union Conference during which time he also served as a member of the board of Southwestern Adventist University.
Based on the recommendation of the Education Department at Southwestern Adventist University, the Herman and Birdie Walker Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a student who best exemplifies the teaching ministry as modeled by the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ, and as set forth by Ellen G. White in her classic book Education. "In the highest sense, the work of education and the work of redemption are one.
In every human being He discerned infinite possibilities. Looking upon them with hope, He inspired hope... Revealing in Himself man's true ideal, He awakened, for its attainment, both desire and faith. . . To many a despairing one there opened the possibility of a new life." (Education, pp. 30, 80)