Heritage's Andrew Walker to join ERLC staff

Baptist Press
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Posted: Jul 08, 2013 4:52 PM
WASHINGTON (BP)--Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has announced the appointment of Andrew T. Walker as the entity's director of policy studies.

Walker, 28, currently serves as policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, one of the country's most respected conservative think-tanks. He has worked within Heritage's DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society on marriage, family and religious liberty issues. Prior to his appointment at Heritage, Walker was a policy analyst for the Kentucky Family Foundation where he focused on issues ranging from family studies to state-sponsored gambling.

The New York Times featured Walker as one of the "undaunted" young conservatives advocating for the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Likewise, Focus on the Family's Citizen magazine profiled Walker and his Heritage colleague Ryan Anderson as representatives of a new generation of pro-marriage Christian activist/scholars.

At the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Walker will coordinate strategies for equipping churches to deal with moral and policy concerns. Walker joins Phillip Bethancourt of Texas and Daniel Patterson of Tennessee, who were named director of strategic initiatives and chief of staff to the president, respectively, upon Moore's election to head the ERLC.

"Andrew Walker's name was on my heart from the moment I was asked to lead the ERLC," Moore said. "He is brilliant, activist, energetic and Gospel-centered. He is one of the brightest young minds in evangelicalism, widely respected in Washington and brings with all of that the 'Kingdom first' vision that characterizes the ERLC. Along with leaders such as Barrett Duke, Phillip Bethancourt and Daniel Patterson, Walker is part of a 'dream team' of co-laborers for which I am thankful to God."

Duke is the ERLC's vice president for public policy and research.

Heritage Foundation officials hailed the ERLC's choice of Walker.

Derrick Morgan, Heritage's vice president for domestic and economic policy, said Walker has been "a key contributor to Heritage's efforts to make the case for marriage during this important season in the debate. Andrew's colleagues are glad he will continue to advance the cause at the ERLC."

Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic policy studies in Heritage's DeVos Center, said Walker has "a wonderful passion for Christian engagement in the great cultural issues of our day, and his gift for applied theology will be a great service to the ERLC. We look forward to working with Andrew, Russell and the whole ERLC team."

Ryan Anderson, the William E. Simon fellow in religion and a free society at Heritage, added, "Andrew Walker is one of the brightest lights in the constellation of young evangelical leaders. Intelligent, articulate and faithful, Andrew brings impressive intellectual gifts with a winsome personality all at the service of the Gospel. Heritage's loss is the ERLC's gain."

Manhattan Declaration Executive Director Eric Teetsel, another leader focused on evangelical policy engagement, said, "Throughout his career, Andrew Walker has been a courageous voice for truth. He's motivated by his love for God and others, which compels him to strive for policies that increase human flourishing and the common good. This new role with ERLC is a perfect opportunity for Andrew to continue the pursuit of these ends."

Walker said he is "honored to join the ERLC team under the presidency of Dr. Russell Moore, whose visionary leadership will set a new tone for Christian engagement in the public square."

"American Christians are entering a new era in how they'll relate to the broader culture," Walker said. "I'm excited about helping Christians in general, and Southern Baptists in particular, think through the dynamics of their faith on any number of contemporary issues."

Walker added, "We can't just be a people who stand athwart history yelling, 'Stop!,' as William F. Buckley once said; we must also be happy warriors for the Kingdom, yelling, 'Come!'"

Walker earned a master of divinity degree in 2010 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and also is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. He is pursuing a master of theology degree in ethics from Southern Seminary. Walker will begin his duties at the ERLC Aug. 1 and will live in Nashville. The ERLC has offices in both Nashville and Washington.

A native of Jacksonville, Ill., Walker's writings have appeared in such publications as The Weekly Standard, Christianity Today, Touchstone, The Gospel Coalition and The Louisville Courier-Journal.

Reported by the communications staff of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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