Everyone knows that I without apology respect and admire my late father, Elder Elijah Williams, more than anyone on the face of the earth. No bones about it. But if there was a second, a very close second it would be Bishop Walter J. Thompson, Sr., the Assistant Pastor of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ in Washington, DC, my home church and the mother church of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ International.
I have said in joking, but in all seriousness as well, if there was such a line on judgment day, when the saved and righteous are told their fate, if Bishop Thompson didn’t make it in, the rest of us might as well get out of line. I have never known a man of such holiness and the fulfillment of loving one another as thy love thyself like Bishop. As even the best of ministers and pastors, will break down the doors for their members when they are sick, but Bishop Thompson goes much further, just call him, it doesn’t matter if he knows the person who is ill, he will be there. The Lord has given him one of the greatest, if not the greatest healing ministries that I know of, yet I have never seen him blow on no one, never seen him to tell someone to turn around three times, but only as the Word has instructed us……”to lay on hands”.
Growing up in the Apostolic Pentecostal tradition, I love a good ole fashion praise and worship ministry, I love a good ole whooping preacher, but this is not Bishop Thompson style, yet many when after his sermons come to the altar to give their life to Christ, not based upon theatrics or emotions, just his preaching of God’s word. As his style of ministry may not be popular to the modern day church of entertainment, as he gives not catching phrases, he does not tell someone to tell their neighbor something, he gives only the Word of God. He does not give opinions in his counseling, just the Word of God, not Thompson, not Way of the Cross, not the hottest preacher on the TV, just the Word of God.
Bishop Thompson joined the Way of the Cross in 1950 and ordained an Elder in 1957. He has served under each pastor of the Way of the Cross, from the founder, the Late Bishop H.C. Brooks to the present pastor, Bishop A.D. Brooks. He served as interim pastor of the Galilee Way of the Cross in Atlanta Georgia, taking the weight off of Bishop A.D. Brooks who was traveling between the Washington and Atlanta, as pastors of both churches. Even today at age 84 years old, though slowed by arthritis, with his duties as Assistant Pastor, he still travels to many hospitals throughout the DC metropolitan area, as well teaches a weekly Bible class at a area McDonald’s where many of the un-church has come to know Christ, through the simple teaching of this great man.
While many ministers, often leave to start their own work, this great man could have done the same, but not one of self glory, he stayed under the leadership of his pastors, as the greatest assistant pastor of all time, and was honored as a Bishop of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ, though he never officially pastor a church. Bishop Thompson if wanted to could surely boast on his walk with the Lord, but if there is one story that could describe Bishop Thompson, it would be this……
Years ago a minister joined the Way of the Cross Church and doing a minister meeting, we had to introduced ourselves and the position that we held in the church. For example, I was single at the time, so I introduced myself as Minister T. Byron Williams, head of singles ministry and so on down the line, each took turn to introduce themselves. Then it came Bishop Thompson turn, and he did not say that he was the Assistant Pastor, or head of visitation ministry, nor did he say that he was on the Board of Trustees, but he just said that I am (then Elder) Walter Thompson and I love everybody……
AND BISHOP WALTER THOMPSON SR……I DO LOVE YOU TOO.