Bishop returns home to help celebrate friend's milestone


Bishop George E. Battle Jr.


From Contributed Reports

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bishop George E. Battle Jr., a Rocky Mount native, returns home this weekend to share in the celebration for his lifelong friend, the Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Walker.

Battle will be the keynote speaker for a banquet Saturday honoring Walker for 50 years in ministry and 47 years as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Battle earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and holds seven honorary doctorate degrees.

Battle currently serves as the senior bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He also serves as the presiding prelate of the Piedmont Episcopal District, which includes Western North Carolina, West Central North Carolina, Blue Ridge, and all divisions of Jamaica Conferences. He has many professional achievements and civic and community involvements, as well.

“I am excited to come home to celebrate with my friend, Lo, which is what I’ve called him all his life,” Battle said. “While some people are considering retiring after 50 years of service, he was just elected national president of our high school alumni association, George Washington Carver Alumni Association. I am looking forward to working with him to continue the great work of our alma mater.”

In recognition of his contributions to the spiritual, economic and political development of the area, the city of Rocky Mount has proclaimed Nov. 3-5 as Dr. Thomas L. Walker Weekend. Like one of his mentors, the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  Walker has worked to achieve social justice for all people.

Activities for Dr. Thomas L. Walker Weekend will begin Friday evening with a free Community Reception from 5:00 until 7:00 pm at Ebenezer Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. This forum will provide an opportunity for the community to salute Walker for his diligent efforts to improve the quality of life for people in this area. City officials will be on hand to present the proclamation at that time. The second event is the 47th Anniversary Banquet at 4 p.m. Saturday at the R. T. McCarter Center. Banquet tickets will be on sale at Ebenezer on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The celebration will conclude at 9 a.m. Sunday with a message by the Rev. TJ Walker, Walker’s grandson.