The Rev. E. V. Walter Sr., 87, preacher, police officer

August 17, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

As a Baltimore police officer, the Rev. Edward V. Walter Sr. helped keep the streets of the Northern District safe. But his real mission was preaching the gospel in the inner city.

Mr. Walter, 87, a nondenominational minister, died Aug. 10 at St. Joseph Medical Center of respiratory failure brought on by asbestosis. He had been exposed to airborne asbestos fibers during World War II, when he was employed to deliver the material to Baltimore shipyards.

Mr. Walter's church was the city. He carried Bible tracts while he was on duty as a patrolman in the Police Department's Northern District and Traffic Division and preached during his lunch hour, said his daughter Joy Wallnofer.

He and his wife, the former Jane M. Vickers, also conducted a Bible club for young people at their home in the 4700 block of Elison Ave., in Northeast Baltimore.

Mr. Walter retired from the force in 1967, but continued his missionary work until his death.

A stroke in 1990 that paralyzed his left arm and made walking difficult forced him to give up preaching, but he found other ways to spread his message.

Mrs. Wallnofer said that the day her father died, he was cutting out materials for the Sunday school class she teaches at Perry Hall Baptist Church, where funeral services were held Thursday.

"He kept going. He never stopped. He only had one [functioning] arm, but he wrote letters to encourage people, sent out tracts, things he could do from home," Mrs. Wallnofer said.

Mrs. Wallnofer said her father, who moved to her home in Fallston after his stroke, would rise by 5 a.m. to plan his day, thinking of ways to help people. During the summer, he often enlisted her and her children to pick fruits and vegetables to take to the Baltimore Rescue Mission, she said.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Walter attended city public schools. He joined the police force in 1946.

In 1961, he was ordained after local clergy nominated him to the Missouri-based Association of Fundamental Ministries and Churches Inc. He also attended the Baltimore School of the Bible, graduating in 1964.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter became missionaries for the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Baltimore after his retirement. Mrs. Walter resigned her job as a city elementary school teacher to join her husband in missionary work, despite the multiple sclerosis that eventually left her blind and disabled. She died of complications from the disease in 1995.

The couple staged puppet shows and "gospel magic" programs for children in housing projects and recreation centers, and Mr. Walter preached in city prisons and rescue missions.

Surviving are two other daughters, Elizabeth Powell of Dundalk and Joyce Bullinger of Middle River; a son, Edward V. Walter Jr. of Carney; six grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 8/17/98

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