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Pastor Nunn retires from Lakewood Churchcomment (0)

April 16, 2009

After 58 years in ministry, Walter Nunn retired at the end of March — for the second time.

Nunn retired the first time in 1996 after serving as pastor of University Baptist Church, Huntsville, in Madison Baptist Association for more than 13 years. But after serving as interim pastor for two years at Lakewood Baptist Church, also in Huntsville and Madison Association, the congregation finally talked him into a permanent, part-time position, which he has filled faithfully for the past 10 years.

Of course, ministry can seldom really be part time, as Nunn noted, saying, “A pastor, if he’s conscientious, is always on call.”

And Nunn was definitely conscientious.

“Dr. Nunn is retiring and we’re just so sad,” said Judy Saunders, longtime church secretary. “We don’t begrudge it but we’re going to miss him.”

Nunn preached his last Sunday at Lakewood Baptist on March 22, and the church hosted a reception in his honor March 29.

“We love him to death,” Saunders said, calling him “a real special person.”

“He’s been very, very faithful and very good to us and for us.”

Nunn had a long and distinguished ministry, serving in churches throughout Alabama, as president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, as chairman of the board of the Alabama Baptist Retirement Centers and as vice chairman of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Nunn’s wife, Elizabeth, worked as a supportive partner in his ministry, ever since they met in Louisville, Ky., when he was a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and she was attending the national Woman’s Missionary Union Training School.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” Nunn said of his time in ministry. “We’ve had good churches.”

In looking back on his time at Lakewood, Nunn most remembers the times of fellowship he enjoyed with church members, from churchwide dinners to monthly men’s breakfasts to annual picnics at a state park.

Nunn described the church as a very warm community.

“Being in a smaller church, the people can know one another,” he said.

Nunn said Lakewood averages 95 in Sunday School and 135 in worship on Sunday mornings. Much of the congregation is older, but through younger couples and community outreach, the church also has active Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors programs on Wednesday nights.

Since retiring, Nunn still lives in Huntsville and attends First Baptist Church, Huntsville. He also continues to review books for The Alabama Baptist as he has been doing for 47 years.

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