By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFRO

New Christian Memorial Church in Southwest Baltimore, is mourning the loss of their pastor, the Rev. Dr. Walter Bronson, who died Oct. 8. He was a beacon light in his community and well loved by his church family.  His granddaughter, Elder Shavona Whitehead said Rev. Bronson was known as a friend to preachers because “he opened his pulpit to many young preachers in ministry.”

The second pastor of New Christian Memorial Church, Rev. Bronson pastored for 47 years.  He also served as a former president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity.  He was known to be an humble man. “My grandfather was a true general in the Kingdom of God. Many organizations, programs, and activities were developed as a result of his genuine interest in problems related to social, psychological, health, and personal concerns of people,” Whitehead said. “His immeasurable level of humility and humbleness impacted those he came in contact with. When you were in his presence, he always made you feel like you were somebody.”

Rev. Dr. Walter Bronson, of New Christian Memorial Church died October 8. (Courtesy Photo)

Under Rev. Bronson’s leadership, the church erected the Dorothy M. Higgins Community Center.  The heart of the center focuses upon spiritual enrichment programs and community outreach initiatives that provide social, economic and educational programs and services.  While he served the community and his church family, he also cared greatly for his biological family.

“Every revival, and preaching engagement, I was his only adjutant. He was never big on having a lot of people around him,” Whitehead said.  “He always believed God had him covered. Whenever he would have to preach, when I was younger, I would ride with him and as I got older, I would drive him. When he would finish preaching, I would always go to the pulpit, take his handkerchief, wipe the sweat from his face, take his bible and go back to my seat,” she added. “The rides home he would always ask me questions about the sermon to ensure that I was paying attention. He would say, `Von, singing is good, praising is good but it’s the word that will keep you.’”

Throughout November, New Christian Memorial Church will be mourning the loss of their Pastor.  In his memory, a robe now covers his pulpit chair.  He will be missed by so many, but he leaves a legacy to cherish.  “His legacy will be that of servanthood. He believed that he could not take credit for anything the Lord allowed Him to accomplish,” Whitehead said. “He felt like Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Church (who said), “I have planted, Apollos water, but God gave the increase.”  He believed in planting the seed that would lay the foundation for people to grow and mature in the gifts and callings that God placed inside of them. One of the key points of his ministry was his love for the youth and young adults. He planted the seed and was very supportive of the young people in the church and motivated them to take on multiple responsibilities and active roles in the growth of the ministry.  He believed in allowing members of all ages to utilize their gifts and talents in service of the Lord”

Rev. Bronson leaves his wife of 57 years, Irma Bronson, five children (one preceded him in death), 10 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren, and church family and friends to carry on his legacy.