Bro. James S. Walker
Two monumental events happened on January 17, 1916, the formation of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) and the birth of James Samuel Walker. Hailing from Huntsville, Texas, James was the 4th of 9 children born to the union of Sidney and Pinkie Gambrell Walker. Most of his education was received within the Huntsville school system, after his tenth grade year he signed up for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). President Franklin D Roosevelt designed a program for single men during the Great Depression. Each man earned $30.00 monthly, of which $25.00 went directly to the family. He received his high school diploma through the program and became the first person in his family to graduate college. In 1941 he earned a BS degree from Prairie View College. After which, he received his first job teaching carpentry and cabinet making at Trinity High School in Trinity, Texas. In 1942 he proudly joined the US Army 364th infantry fighting unit and held the rank of T-5. James was stationed in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska and he remembers, “after first arriving he had to find his hut by looking for smoke stacks and would then shovel a trench through the snow to get to the door.” After 18 months of serving his country he was honorably discharged.
In 1945 Brother Walker became a business man in the construction industry. From 1945 to 1969, he was married to the first love of his life, Mary Belle Greenwood of Corpus Christi, Texas. Two children were born to this union Donn Royce and Deborah Kay Walker. Mary Belle, was the daughter of a family that owned a small chain of Roy’s Bar-B-Que restaurants in Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1951, they decided to open a restaurant in Houston on Chocolate Bayou Road (now known as Cullen) and they built a second location on Calhoun Road. For 37 years he tantalized the taste buds of the most critical palates with homemade barbeque sauce, homemade links, slow cooked ribs, tender brisket and the best chopped beef sandwiches this side of the Gulf Coast.
In 1969 Brother Walker suffered the loss of his dedicated wife of 23 years. In September of the same year he moved into the role of grandfather as his first grandchild Maria Bibbs was born. In 1972 he married the late, Edna Grovey Walker, and they were married for 40 years. Together they shared two granddaughters, Maria and husband Chad Cox; and Monica and husband Euso Kante; four wonderful great-grandchildren, Braylen and Chad Cox Jr., along with Euso and Zoey Kante.
Brother James S. Walker is a very active 97 year old father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin, and friend. His accomplishments exceed that of being a strong businessman. He is compassionate, generous of his time, creative with his resources and is loved by all who know him. He lives his life as an example to his family. Never claiming to be perfect or without fault, he allows his life to be used as an instrument for God. He provides help to those who feel helpless, a voice for the voiceless, protector of the needy, trainer to those seeking skills and an employer to those who want work. Accepting Jesus Christ as his lord and savior, he has dedicated over 60 years of service with Antioch Baptist Church of Christ, is ordained as a Deacon, had served as a Trustee, Chairman of the Finance Committee; a Golden Member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; Life member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; a member of Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Mason; YMCA; East Sunnyside Court Civic Club; Chairman of Anna Dupree board of Directors; Frontier International Inc.; Chairman of the H-HCRTA Directory Committee; Member of Houston Chapter of the Prairie View Alumni Association which he has devoted 25+ years encouraging local high school students to his Alma Mater (Prairie View A &M University), and he is also a member of the Houston-Harris County Retired Teachers Association. James is always ready for a good game of dominoes and he loves the Houston Astros Baseball Team.