Walter Wilson stays busy - Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an expanded article based on the 2020 Cooperative Program Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. For more information, please visit

Walter Wilson, who serves Oklahoma Baptists as African American Affinity Ministry Partner (AMP), has been pastor for 13 years of Lawton, Friendship. He graduated in 1984 from Bishop College in Dallas, from Dallas Baptist University in 1987 with a master’s degree in Christian education and in 1989 with a doctorate in theology. He has served 36 years in ministry.

“We’re known as a lighthouse in the Lawton View community,” Wilson said of the church. For the last 12 years Lawton, Friendship has worked with the Great Plains Improvement Association, a community-needs action agency, and the Lawton Pregnancy Resource Center. Wilson is on the advisory board of both.

For the last 10 years Lawton, Friendship has provided a meal once a month for people staying at the homeless shelter in Lawton, and the church has an as-needed on-site clothing closet. Lawton, Friendship, at 74 years, is the oldest African American Southern Baptist church in Oklahoma.

“We’re getting ready to partner with the Oklahoma Food Bank and will become the distribution resource center for all of Lawton,” Wilson said. “We have a 6,000 square-foot fellowship hall we can use.”

As an AMP, Wilson works with pastors, churches and associations statewide who minister in an African American context. He is an encourager, counselor, resource provider, motivator and mentor, especially focused on the overall wellness of each pastor and his family.

Wilson’s hobby is model trains. He has 18 complete sets, including, from the 2004 Disney film, a model of the Polar Express.

“For kids, I set them up at church, usually three or four at a time,” Wilson said. “At home I just have one set up that I work with. It takes my mind off things.”

He and his wife Velma have been married 47 years and have one daughter. They’ve never taken a train ride.

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