Faith-filled dentist follows two careers

Brad Walker is a dentist who also works with “Hitland,” a nonprofit evangelism ministry he founded in 2002.

St. Peter and other apostles of the early church devoted themselves entirely to spreading the Gospel, living on money given by church members. St. Paul, a late addition to the group, frequently performed paid outside work so as not to financially burden the young churches he founded. Since his occupation was making tents, self-supporting or “non-stipendiary” ministry is often called “tentmaking.”
A modern example of this phenomenon is Dr. Brad Walker. While operating a busy dental practice in San Jose, he also spends countless hours working with “Hitland,” a nonprofit evangelism ministry he founded in 2002.
A native of Fremont, Walker got interested in dentistry in the fifth grade. A class assignment to report on a professional career caused him to interview a local orthodontist. He decided then that would be his vocation, and in 1985 he graduated from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry.
As his interest broadened beyond “wires,” Walker opened a practice in general dentistry. For more than 20 years he has provided cosmetic and restoration work, offering patients successful treatment plans and dental care.
A life-long Christian (his grandfather was an ordained minister), Walker has always been active in churches. As a youngster he attended Sunday School, youth groups and church camps; as an adult he taught, organized and chaperoned them. For several years he was involved in the high-quality Christian musicals presented by San Jose’s Bethel Church.
In 1998, Walker was an associate pastor at Celebration Community Church in San Jose, but he began to question the ability of organized churches to do the work Jesus had given them to do. It seemed too much effort was devoted to “church business,” the internal logistics of managing the local congregation and its property. Too little attention seemed to be given to reaching out to those who never attended but who needed to hear the good news of Salvation.
Forming a team, he organized an outreach event meant to attract neighbors. This concert was held in the church parking lot: everyone in the neighborhood was invited to listen to music, eat and learn about Jesus Christ’s message.
During the past 12 years, this ministry has expanded. No longer attached to a single church, it has become “evangelism in a can,” traveling wherever invited to serve these principles: preach the Gospel in a kind and honest way, raise up ministers who touch lives and break down walls separating believers/nonbelievers and Christians of different traditions.
Completely run by volunteers with no paid staff, all donations to Hitland go toward the following:
• Paid in Full: Free all-day festivals with food, music, powerful messages
• Grave Robber: Multi-media, pyrotechnic events about life’s ultimate choices
• Inside Out: Visits to prisons and detention centers to serve the incarcerated
• GO Itinerant: Conferences, seminars training church members for discipleship.
Hitland has recently presented events at a variety of locations about twice a month.
• San Quentin State Prison
• Wood High School, Vacaville
• Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall
• Solano County Youth Detention Facility
• Inderkun High School, Sacramento
• Concord Water Park Gospel Day
On Nov. 10, Crystal Walker, Brad’s wife and co-founder of Hitland, traveled with the heads of three other Christian ministries to present a series of evangelism events in Ethiopia.
To see videos of Hitland ministries in action, to find other resources explaining its work or to contribute, visit www.hitland.net.

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