A Picture of God’s Grace: Kyron Walker and the DMB Scholarship
The Music Director for Grace + Peace Church talked to us about receiving the Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship, growing up in a small town in Texas, and his dreams for music ministry.
Kyron Walker with his wife Krystal and their children Aylissa (11), Kyron (8), and Kylee (5)
When Kyron Walker first read the email on his phone, he thought it was a mistake.
Weeks earlier he’d applied to the Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship, named in honor and memory of the founder of The Generosity Trust (TGT). Now, sitting in his inbox was an email saying he’d just been granted a scholarship that, combined with another he’d received, would essentially cover the entire cost of his seminary education.
“I couldn’t believe it. I called them up just to make sure it wasn’t a typo,” said Walker.
Kool and the Gang, Shania Twain, and Jesus
Kyron grew up in Ingleside, Texas, a small, rural town on the outskirts of Corpus Christi. As an 8-year-old, he came to faith in Christ at his grandmother’s Baptist church.
Walker’s love for music began at an early age. As a kid, he remembers listening to cassettes of Kool and the Gang, Shania Twain, and Jay-Z. Eventually Kyron started rapping, writing poetry, and making his own songs. He taught himself music theory by watching YouTube videos. In high school, Walker took an audio engineering class and later got a music degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
But music wasn’t just a passion for Kyron. It played a big role in his faith journey. Growing up, Walker said, God used several subtle things to bring him to a greater understanding of the gospel.
Namely, hip hop.
As a freshman in high school, he remembers hearing the Christian rapper Lecrae for the first time at a youth group event.
“I had never really heard anything like that,” said Walker. “People who were so confident in their faith but also just as good rappers as all the others.”
Over time, Walker says, the music of Lecrae and others led him to become interested in Reformed theology.
At 18, Kyron learned to play the piano, and his mother-in-law taught him his first “church songs.” Eventually, he started playing in churches and developed a deep love for worship music.
“It just felt so much more gratifying and purposeful. All the songs were about God. It’s just different than making music on your own,” he said.
Right around the time Kyron was finishing up his music degree, a friend and pastor named Benjie Slaton approached him to talk about a church he was planting in Chattanooga. Slaton invited him to join the staff of Grace + Peace as Music Director. Kyron eventually took the job and moved with his wife Krystal and their three children to Chattanooga in February of 2020.
One of the big reasons why Kyron took the job was the opportunity to pursue a seminary education at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS). He says his passion for theology comes naturally.
“I’ve always been interested in theological studies. I remember my mom once asked my grandma for a specific Bible for Christmas. It had all the definitions for words like sanctification and justification. It was super interesting. For me, there’s always been a draw to learn about the Lord in a structured environment.”
Several months after the move, Kyron began signing up for classes and figuring out how he was going to pay for it all. In addition to his work at the church, Walker took a part-time job, out of his field, to support his family and to help pay for seminary. The plan was to take one or two classes a semester and slowly chip away at a Master of Divinity degree, a process which could take years.
That’s when Kyron found out about the Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship and The Generosity Trust. Since 1965, the scholarship has been awarded to students from the greater Chattanooga area who are studying for current or future ministry service. Over 450 students have received the scholarship through the years and are now serving the Lord all over the world.
As he was filling out the scholarship application, Walker thought, “If [TGT] is willing to give me 50 bucks, that’s better than zero.”
He ended up getting substantially more than $50.
The impact of the DMB scholarship
When Walker found out he’d been awarded the scholarship, he was stunned.
“I was floored. I just couldn’t believe that they would invest like that in me. I called and asked them if it was a typo. I thought, ‘There’s no way this is right.’”
Time and money are huge factors for anyone considering seminary. And when TGT helped to take care of the finances, it was a game-changer for Kyron. “It was life changing,” he said. “It took a few weeks for me to really understand the magnitude of it.”
Because of the DMB scholarship, Kyron was able to leave his part-time job, continue as music minister at his church, and pursue seminary full-time.
“If I hadn’t got the scholarship, I don’t know if I would’ve started seminary now or not. It just changed things.”
“A picture of God’s grace”
With the financial burden off the table, Kyron could not be more eager to begin his theological training.
“I’m really excited to pursue my seminary degree at RTS. Especially since I love the church, and I love being with other brothers and sisters who are also interested in learning about the Lord and how to serve his people. That’s exciting to me.”
When it comes to his plans post-seminary, Walker feels called to three areas: working with people across racial and socio-economic lines, music, and being a pastor.
“Because of my upbringing, I get along with all kinds of people. I was that kid in school who went around from table to table hanging with everybody—the band geeks, the nerds, the athletes, etc. I think there’s something to that,” he said.
As he considered the impact the DMB scholarship will have on his life and ministry, Kyron was almost at a loss for words.
“It’s inspiring. It’s awesome when people see the value of the church and a seminary education—so much so that they’re willing to put money behind it to bless people like me.”
Kyron is incredibly grateful for the scholarship and excited about where the Lord is leading him.
“This is an opportunity for me to learn, grow, and figure out where God is calling me, whether that’s in music, pastoral leadership, or somewhere else.”
Ultimately, Kyron feels like this experience points towards an even greater reality.
“Receiving this scholarship is such a picture of God’s grace…[Dora Maclellan Brown’s] long gone. I’ll never meet her on this side of heaven, and yet I’m still benefiting from her initiative and generosity. It makes me cry sometimes. It’s awesome.”
To learn more about the Dora Maclellan Brown scholarship and the work of The Generosity Trust, visit thegenerositytrust.org/scholarhips.
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