Groundbreaking set for John T. Walker Center in Washington, D.C.

Holy Comforter hosts national center in memory of bishop
July 12, 2007

Preparations are underway at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. to break ground on July 15 at 4 p.m. for the new John T. Walker Center.

The Center was named for the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker, the first African American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. He presided over the completion of the Washington National Cathedral and was a pioneer and founder of the Washington Interfaith Council. Walker was a pastor, teacher, cathedral builder, civil rights leader, ecumenist, social justice pioneer, urban missionary, relief worker, and statesman who took to heart his parents' foundational belief that education was the door to opportunity. His legacy was bringing together races, faiths, and nations in the common cause of understanding and brotherhood.

"The Center is named for Bishop Walker because he did so much for the Diocese of Washington and nothing has really been done to commemorate his memory," said the Rev. Canon Kortright Davis, rector of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church. "We feel that having a center built in his memory and honor will perpetuate the things which he stood for and contributions that he made."

The plan calls for approximately 7,720 square feet of space on two levels to be built and part of the existing structure of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church to be renovated. The goal of the project is to support the surrounding community and those affiliated with the Center to strengthen themselves academically, economically, spiritually and socially.

According to the church website, programs offered at the Walker Center will meet identified needs in upper Ward 4 of Washington, D.C. and serve as a focal point for other churches and community groups to participate in a similar matter.

"We are hoping this space will become a national learning center for training laity, empowering youth, creating family enrichment programs, incorporating music because it is an important element for enrichment and community building, and encouraging global reconciliation because Washington is a national and international community where this space could be a base," said Davis.

The Center, which is endorsed by the Diocese of Washington, will consist of multipurpose rooms, classrooms, conference space, a library and a resource center.

For more information, on the John T. Walker Center, visit: