The Rev. R.j. Waller, 56, Pastor

Posted: October 20, 1993

The Rev. R. Johnson Waller Sr., 56, pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Holmesburg, died Monday at Jeanes Hospital.

Mr. Waller, a resident of the Holmesburg section of the city, was born in Philadelphia and reared in Wayne. He was a 1955 graduate of Radnor High School.

He served in the Navy for 10 years as a radioman second class.

He was a former Prudential Life Insurance agent and an employee of the U.S. Postal Service.

While working at the post office, he attended the Philadelphia College of the Bible and later, the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mr. Waller preached his first sermon in 1970 and was ordained in 1972 at Second Baptist Church, Wayne, where his late father, the Rev. W. H. Waller, was pastor.

From 1972 to 1980, he was an evangelist, preaching nationally, and served as assistant minister and youth director at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Holmesburg.

In April 1980, he was appointed pastor of the church.

"He used workshops and seminars in the church as a means to foster church unity - bringing about relationships to God, church and one another," said his wife, Sandra E. Scott Waller.

Last year, he led his congregation in an anti-drug march and prayer vigil in the Holmesburg community.

Mr. Waller was president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity from 1990 to 1992.

He served on many boards, including the National Baptist Convention USA Inc., Foreign Mission executive board, the Black Church Advisory Council at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Philadelphia Baptist Association Advisory Committee and its World Mission Support.

He was on the advisory board of PATH (People Acting to Help), a community mental health center.

Mr. Waller was a member of the Pennsylvania State Convention, the American Baptist Convention and the Philadelphia Baptist Association.

Surviving besides his wife of 33 years are his sons, R. Johnson Jr. and Scott H.; daughters, Rene McPherson, Vanessa M. Saunders and Cassandra Y. Brown; mother, Mattie S. Waller; two brothers, and seven grandchildren.

A viewing will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 8100 Erdrick St. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church, followed by burial at Rolling Green Cemetery, West Chester.

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