Will Walls continues lifelong service, sharing experience and godly wisdom
When Aaron and Diane Lincoln, members of the CMF field team in England, have trouble making a decision about a ministry or personal issue, they always know where to turn for reliable advice.
“When we were unsure about something, we’d always say, ‘Let’s ask Will!’ and he and Ruth would pour into our lives,” said Diane. “Our entire England team came to rely on the lived wisdom we found in our teammates Will and Ruth Walls.
“One of the great blessings of our life in ministry has been God’s provision of key mentors at different points in our lives,” added Diane. “Will and Ruth have been one of those key mentors for us not only during their years in England, but in all the years since.”
Let’s ask Will!
Through his years of service, first as a campus minister at Ball State University in 1972-1995, then as a CMF missionary in England, and finally as the Director of Member Care at the CMF home office in Indianapolis, hundreds of people have said, “Let’s ask Will!” when faced with life issues.
And Will is well-qualified to provide biblically based answers. He began his career with multiple degrees from Cincinnati Christian University, Maritime Christian College and Ball State, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1978. He married his wife Ruth in 1962.
His years of service to university students at Ball State stretched from 1972-1995. He lists ministry to international and handicapped students as highlights of his years there.
Heeding the call to serve internationally, Will and Ruth affiliated with CMF in 1993. They spent 1995-2005 in England in pastoral care, team training and development with the church planting team, all of whom, with the exception of Herb and Marilynn Works, are still serving in England today. He was also CMF’s European coordinator and taught at Springdale College and with TCM International Institute.
The Walls returned to Indianapolis in 2005 and Will began his work in the Indianapolis office with CMF missionaries and staff members. His expertise was put to good use in the administration of assessments for recruits and furloughing missionaries, debriefing returning missionaries, in-service programs for the staff, field visits abroad and as a CMF representative at partner churches.
His warm and caring personality was an asset in the home office also, and many staffers took the opportunity to stop by his office “ask Will” for advice.
CMF Executive Director Kip Lines is one of those who is thankful for the ministry model of Will and Ruth through the years.
“The Walls are examples of life-long service to the Kingdom for all of us,” he said. “It is rare that someone is able to serve in ministry with CMF for so long in so many significant roles. It is a testament to both Will and Ruth’s commitment to God’s mission and their love for those who serve as CMF missionaries.”
At the end of October, Will and Ruth officially concluded their years of service with CMF, but Will continues to serve missionaries from his Indianapolis home through his nonprofit, “A Lamp Unto My Feet.” He provides missionary care, training resources, psychological assessments and critical incident debriefing, all at no cost to the missionaries.
“Though their formal roles with CMF have ended,” said Dr. Lines, “I have no doubt that they will continue to read every missionary update and be an encouragement to us all!”
Meanwhile, Will has the satisfaction of looking back on a life invested in a legacy of faith in people — discipling and mentoring others, who are, in turn, discipling and mentoring people in their lives.
“We could never have envisioned where God would direct us in life and ministry,” said Will. “As God worked through us in ministry at Ball State, cross-culturally in England and through my counseling ministry, He filled our lives with rich relationships, ministry opportunities, challenges to overcome, and above all, God’s presence and blessing!”
Top photo: Will was reunited with members of the Great Britain Field Team for a visit in 2015. Front from left: Teresa Fittro, Will, Diane Lincoln, Debbie Kineman. In back from left: David Fittro, Timothy Aho, Tammy Aho, Aaron Lincoln and Larry Kineman.