The legacy of Brent Walker

The fifth executive director in the BJC’s 80-year history, J. Brent Walker first joined the staff in 1989. Early in his tenure, he helped organize the coalition that fought for the passage of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Later in the 1990s, Walker’s work included fighting efforts to amend the First Amendment and supporting the passage of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

After being named executive director in 1999, Walker’s focus included included opposing government-sponsored displays of the Ten Commandments and speaking out against the targeting of individuals based on religion during heightened Islamophobia. He emphasized education, overseeing the development of annual lecture series, the Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest and the BJC Fellows Program. He also led the organization to creating a Center for Religious Liberty, which allows groups from high schools, colleges and seminaries to visit the BJC for educational sessions. Walker retired as executive director on Dec. 31, 2016.


Brent Walker Freedom for Tomorrow Fund

Thank and honor Brent for his service by making a donation to the Brent Walker Freedom for Tomorrow Fund, which will help the BJC move boldly into the future and lead the way in defending religious liberty for all people.

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Video tributes to Brent Walker



Written tributes and retrospectives

A friend, confidant and adviser by Tyrone Pitts

A man of faith on Capitol Hill by Chet Edwards

A partner for all seasons by Richard Foltin

A steady and strong leader by Amanda Tyler

A teacher and pastor who prepared us by Holly Hollman

J. Brent Walker: Our friend and mentor by Stephen Reeves, Aaron Weaver and Jeff Huett

Shoring up Separation: A Q&A with Brent Walker by Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Good game, Brent by John Pierce

Donate to the Brent Walker Freedom for Tomorrow Fund

Honor Brent Walker’s dedication to the cause of religious liberty by making a gift to the Baptist Joint Committee through this special fund. All gifts will be in honor of Brent, and they will be recognized in an upcoming edition of Report from the Capital. Your gifts to the Brent Walker Freedom for Tomorrow Fund will help the BJC move boldly into the future, leading the way in protecting religious liberty for everyone.