The Life Journey of Elder Walter Cole
Elder Walter Cole, M.Div. was born on March 16, 1935, in Birmingham, Alabama to Robert Cole and Catherine Townsend. His family moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1947.
Walter was preceded in death by his mother, father, and stepfather, Joseph Walker, who helped raise him. Walter met Barbara Jean Downey in the halls of the historic Sumner High School, from which he was a proud 1955 graduate. Walter and Barbara would soon become high school sweethearts, and later husband and wife, on July 5, 1955. God blessed this union with five loving children; one daughter and four sons.
Walter was employed as an oiler for McDonnell Douglas, now known as Boeing. After 32 years of faithful service at the aerospace manufacturing corporation and defense contractor, Walter retired in 1998.
Walter was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost in 1966 at Bethesda Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith. Formerly located on Delmar and Clara in the Central West End, the church later moved to 5401 Bishop James A-1 Johnson Lane in Normandy, Missouri.
After accepting the call to ministry in the early 1970s, Walter was elevated to assistant pastor of Bethesda Temple Church on September 22, 1988 by the late Bishop James A. Johnson. In a
1991 article, Bishop Johnson said Walter was a “fit man from the standpoint of his love for Jesus” and a “devoted minister and student of the Word.”
Once a soft-spoken young man, Walter ultimately found his voice in preaching the Word. He preached his first sermon at Grace Apostolic Church, where Elder John A. McCoy was
pastor. Under the leadership of Bishop Johnson, Walter often preached at various churches and tent revivals around the area, encouraging saints of all ages who endeavored to do the Lord’s work to remain faithful.
Walter remained steadfast and committed to his calling until the Lord called him home. Walter served under the late Bishop Johnson with honor, and he approached his most
recent service under Suffragan Bishop Julian R. Johnson with the same regard, until his transition to be with the Lord. An avid golf fan, Walter was active in his church and throughout
Walter will always be remembered by many for his quote, “Talk is cheap, it takes money to buy land.” In recognition for his 40 years of service to the Midwestern District Council and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Elder Cole was bestowed an honorary Master of Divinity from the storied International Association of Apostolic Apologists Institute of Theology (IAAAIT) in 2019.
According to Psalms 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”
The Coles were certainly blessed, and Walter loved spending time with his wife, five children, fifteen grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.
Elder Walter Cole was called to receive his crown on Thursday, June 16, 2022, leaving a rich legacy to cherish: loving wife of 66 years, Evangelist Dr. Barbara J. Cole; five children, Carlotta
(James) Jethroe, Byron (Kate) Cole Sr., Walter Charles (Cid) Cole, Andre (Rochelle) Cole, and Terence (Carla) Cole; fifteen grandchildren, Rashonda, Brandon, Byron (Camesha), Batrice (Jamarcus), Chris (Briauna), Aundrea, Justin, Terence (Germaine), Jazzmyn, Cara, Jaylah (Darius), Andre Jr., Jessika, Chelsey, and Chandler; thirteen loving great-grandchildren; five surrogate children, Carrie Harris, Pastor Carlton Francis, Pastor Byron Thompson, Elder Leonard Bell, and Elder Caleb Kirksey; siblings, Betty and Tracyi Brooks, and Jack Ford; and a host of cousins, godchildren, friends, and his beloved Bethesda Temple Church family.