Celebrating Five Years of Stewardship

This May, Grace Tabernacle Baptist Church celebrates five years under the pastoral leadership of  Reverend Wayne Dawson. Join us as we show our appreciation for Reverend Dawson and Grace’s first family.

Anniversary Activities

Anniversary Worship Service: Sunday, May 21 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Tabernacle Baptist Church

Anniversary Reception: Sunday, May 21, 2023 immediately after worship in the Jeremiah B. Pryce Fellowship Hall

Guest Minister: Dr. John Wesley Walker Jr.

Dr. John Wesley Walker, Jr. is the first child of John, Sr., and Johnnie (Jan) Walker on October 29, 1956, in Richmond, California. Dr. Walker’s siblings are Rhita Walker-Smith and Michael Walker (deceased).
Dr. Walker pastored for 39 years and was assigned to Beth El Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church in Sarasota, FL July 19, 2008, until he retired on August 4, 2022. Prior to his assignment to Beth El, he pastored Central Metropolitan CME Church in Jacksonville, FL, and in the states of California and Ohio. He is
the Religious Program Coordinator for Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. He also serves as Chaplain to the employees of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota County Fire Department, and the United States Secret Service. He is an instructor at the Academy of Public Theology; served as an adjunct Professor at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, FL., and a guest instructor to the Lutheran Church of Haiti in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He attended Ashland Theological Seminary, a graduate division of Ashland University, Ashland, OH where he received his Master in Christian Ministry and Doctor of Ministry degrees.

Dr. Walker has been blessed with many accomplishments along his pastoral journey. Various ministries were started under his leadership such as One Church, One School; One Church, One Child, LIFE (Lane’s Institute for Family Enrichment), The Followers of David (Liturgical Dance Troupe); GED programs,
Alcoholics Anonymous, HIV/AIDs awareness, Celebrate Recovery, and many others.
In addition to past0ring, Dr. Walker served the CME Church in various capacities. He served on the Community Development Committee, and Communications and Information Technology Committee, both on the connectional level of the CME Church. He currently serves on the Committee on Ministerial Examination for the Florida Region. He served as Vice-Chairperson on the Joint Board of Finance for the Florida Region
and Chairman of the Committee on Ministerial Examination for the Ohio-Central Indiana Region. He has served the CME Church as a delegate to the General Conference since 1994; in 2001 he served as a delegate to the World Methodist Conference in Brighton, England; a 2002 delegate to the World Methodist Evangelism Institute in Panama City, Panama. In April 2012, he was a member of an interfaith delegation to Israel sponsored by the Jewish Federation and Sarasota Ministerial Association. In May 2019, he was part of a leadership team that led a delegation of the Faith Community, Education, Law Enforcement, and Medical community, and a representative from other organizations in Sarasota to Israel.
In the community, Dr. Walker currently serves on the Board of Directors for First Step of Sarasota Inc. and Second Chance / Last Opportunity. A member of the Advisory Board for Foluke Cultural Arts Center, Inc.,
Cleveland, OH. Past co-chairperson of Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity (SURE), University of
South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Community Leadership Council. He is the past co-chairperson of the Interfaith Coalition for Action Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE), Former Board member of the Sarasota Ministerial Association. In Ohio, he served as president of the Greater Cleveland Methodist Ministerial Alliance, Cleveland, OH; Board of Trustees for the Phyllis Wheatley Association, Policy Matters of Ohio, Interfaith Leaders of Northeast Ohio, Ohio Commission on Minority Health. Dr. Walker serves on the Florida Crisis Response Team and was sent to Orlando, FL to respond to the needs of victims of the Pulse shooting. He is a proud member of the Xi Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Dr. Walker is married to Meadow and has two adult children, Tiombe Nixon, and John III “Chioke”; Six godchildren: Loran Taylor, Tabrina Thomas, Tatiana Taylor, Kamara Doughtry, Daniel Dawson, Ashley Gilliam, and Emily Pruitt. He is also blessed with grandchildren. His deep abiding faith, spiritual gifts as a servant of God, his love for music as a saxophonist, the bass guitar, his hobby of marine fish and reef tanks along with playing golf are what make John Wesley Walker, Jr. a well-rounded person.