For 13 years, Walt Vaughn was homeless, walking Huntsville’s city streets. But he was never really alone. Throughout those years, Walt said God sent many strangers who represented the love of Christ to help him. They didn’t know what to expect when they approached Walt for the first time — sometimes the homeless can be mean. Yet, what they found when they met Mr. Walt — he told everyone to call him Walt Baby Love — was a gentle and kind soul.
Blessed with an amazing talent for singing, Mr. Walt often walked the streets of Huntsville, singing old church hymns, like “Amazing Grace.” When he was young his mom asked him to sing in church, but he was shy and didn’t want to do it. Yet, somewhere during his life of suffering on the streets, Mr. Walt learned that he had been given the gift of singing, and God intended it to be used for a higher purpose.
Mr. Walt’s singing brought joy to those around him and helped shatter the darkness surrounding some of his listeners. He began singing in churches, singing during his doctor and hospital visits, and he sang as a way to thank those who came to him offering gifts and kindness.
He didn’t know then that God would use his gift in a special way.
Way across town there was a 4-year-old little girl who was afraid of the dark. She asked her mother to pray that her fears would leave her. Nevertheless, night after night, the fears remained. But one night her mother sang to her — “Amazing Grace.”
Tears filled the little girl’s eyes, and she said, “Mommy, when you sing that song, I’m not afraid anymore.” It was in that moment the fear of darkness left her, and “Amazing Grace” became a special song in her little heart.
One day, that same little 4-year-old lied to her parents, and her dad punished her by taking away all of her stuffies. That night she prayed, asking Jesus to forgive her and to help her get out of that mess. And to help her get a stuffy.
The following day, she served for the first time at The Huntsville Dream Center, a place that provides help to those in need. The little girl helped deliver food to people living in Johnson Towers. And that’s where she met Mr. Walt.
Thankfully, he was no longer homeless and had moved into Johnson Towers. When Mr. Walt saw everyone bringing gifts and spotted the little girl who looked a little sad, he tried to cheer her up by singing “Amazing Grace.” The little girl’s eyes lit up. He didn’t know what that song meant to her, yet it was that song he chose to sing.
Then Mr. Walt gave her a new stuffy.
The little girl was amazed to see her prayers answered so quickly, and she and Mr. Walt became fast friends. She told him about her lie — and about her dad taking her stuffies. Mr. Walt assured her that her dad would not take the one he had given her.
And the little girl said, “Thank you Jesus.”
Later, Mr. Walt joined the same church as the little girl and her family.
God had blessed Mr. Walt with a talent of singing and showed him how to use it to glorify God. The little girl was blessed with a gift for reading — she learned to read by the time she was a year old — so she took her story about meeting Mr. Walt and wrote a book called “The Day I Met Walt.”
Today she’s 7 years old and reads her book at churches and schools, teaching kids to love others and to use their talents to glorify God.
Mr. Walt walked through the city, singing “Amazing Grace” and sharing his little friend’s book with others until one day, a doctor said that Mr. Walt’s body was very ill. The little girl’s mother prayed with him, and he said, “I have lived a good life, and I’m leaving a legacy behind.”
Mr. Walt passed away on his 70th birthday, seven months after “The Day I Met Walt” was released.
But before he died, Mr. Walt realized God had great plans to minister to others through him even after he was gone. The last scripture he read to the little girl’s mother was this one: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1Timothy 1:12).
Please help us keep Mr. Walt’s legacy and ministry going by sharing his story and purchase your copies of “The Day I Met Walt” on Amazon or from major bookstores. You can also order a copy by clicking here.
Half of the proceeds from this book go back into the community to help others through The Huntsville Dream Center.
At Community Journal, we love hearing stories about the people, like Mr. Walt, who make our town special, and we especially love stories about little girls who turn their unlikely friendships into a book that helps one of our favorite nonprofits. Wouldn’t this book make a great Christmas present? If you know someone who is truly an angel among us, tell us about it!
The Community Journal is dedicated to sharing the good news in our community. We believe when we focus on good, more good happens.
Do you know a good-news story that should be on the Community Journal? Send it to us by clicking here.
We are looking for video storytellers. Do you know how to use Facebook Live? Are you a storyteller or aspiring journalist? Would you like to be a part of our team? Contact us at [email protected]
We also want to invite you to join our new community, AUTHENTIK.city. We firmly believe people don’t hate each other as much as we’ve been led to believe, so we’ve created a community of people who want to be a part of the solution—a social platform based on real stories; a community grounded in respect and love for others. No bullies. No trolling. No ads. No judgment.