Many of you have probably seen this news, but I wanted to share that Brent Walker has announced that he will step down as Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty at the end of 2016.
I will likely say more as his retirement comes closer, but Brent has been a tireless champion of religious liberty, has fought for 27 years to protect the wall of separation between church and state, and done so with grace, humor, and kindness. I’m sure the BJC will find someone highly qualified to take up his work, but it’s hard to imagine that anyone could replace him.
And on a personal note, as a former Intern at the BJC, I can’t thank Brent enough for his encouragement and generosity. Not only did he give me the opportunity to learn about and work for a cause that truly matters, he (and the other staff members there) made the BJC a place where I felt welcome. It made a big impression on me, and was my first real introduction to living out my convictions in the public sphere. He also taught me how to tie a bow-tie, and (no small thing) introduced me to Nationals baseball.
Under his leadership, the BJC did great work. It will continue to do so, and so, by the way, will Brent. Nevertheless, he’ll be missed as Director, not the least by future interns who will have no idea how to tie a bow-tie.