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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. Ward, Vesper Ottmer (July 22, 1890-Oct. 17, 1968). Priest and leading educator in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Pleasant Retreat, West Virginia. He received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1913 and his S.T.B. from Boston University School of Theology in 1916. He was a Methodist minister for 15 years and then joined the Episcopal Church. He was ordained deacon on Nov. 24, 1931, and priest on May 27, 1932. Ward served as dean of the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour, Faribault, Minnesota, from 1933 to 1941, rector of St. Mary's-by-the-Sea in Pacific Grove, California, from 1941 to 1944, and canon chancellor, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, from 1944 to 1948. He was editor-in-chief of the Division of Curriculum Development of the Department of Christian Education of the National Council (now Executive Council) of the Episcopal Church from 1948 to 1953, and editor of the "Church's Teaching Series" from 1949 to 1952. Ward served as professor of Christian education and homiletics at the School of Theology of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, from 1953 until his retirement in 1963. In that position he developed an innovative teaching program in both disciplines. His work in education later became one of the major influences in the revision of the theological curriculum at Sewanee. In 1952 he received the D.D. from Ohio Wesleyan University. Ward died in Seal Beach, California. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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