Terry Walters is a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and recently retired church pastor. He has written a variety of works from blogs to books, letters to lyrics, plays to poems, and sermons to studies to scripts. Most of his writings have been for personal pleasure and church use, but in 2014 he fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a published author.
Terry was born Oct. 22, 1954 in Decatur, IL and was raised just north of there in the small town of Forsyth. He graduated with honors from Maroa-Forsyth High School in 1972 but chose not to go to college at the time. In January of 1976, Terry married Cheryl Bolte of Nokomis, IL and immediately entered the Music & Youth Ministry, serving several churches in northeast Arkansas and Memphis, TN. In 1986 he began to serve as pastor and got a B.A. in Christian Ministries at Williams Baptist College (now University) of Walnut Ridge, AR, graduating summa cum laude.
He and Cheryl served as church planters in South Bend, IN for a while in the early 1990s, then returned to their home state of IL and eventually started Celebration Community Church in Pana in 2001. They were both very active in the children's ministry as well and Terry began to write for their own unique program "Straight Street." He wrote all the puppet scripts and some of the lessons. That is where his three published children's books came from. Terry just retired from pastoring, stepping away from Celebration at the end of Feb. 2023. Hopefully, he will remain active in pulpit supply around central Illinois!
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22 that he had become all things to all people in order to win some of them. Terry takes that seriously, even when having fun, and is willing to go to great lengths to help others in their life-quest. In the pics above you can see "the many faces of Terry" - Waldo the Clown, Elijah the prophet, gospel singer, juggler, roof tile maker (?) in the mountains of Peru, author & book signer, parade float rider, Marshal Dylan Wyatt in one of his plays, and a gangster at a themed party at church. Whether teaching, preaching, acting, writing, playing, or just enjoying his grandkids, Terry gives it his all.
He supplemented his income over the years while serving smaller churches by a number of ways, but mostly by painting houses. He gave that up a couple of years ago (except around home!). It is his hope that pulpit supply and as his books become more and more popular, and signings take up more and more time, he won't have to climb that ladder to paint anymore! Meanwhile, he hopes to see YOU at one of those book signings or perhaps at one of the churches where he will be preaching.