Forte, Walter Ethalon, Jr. At the age of 85 with his wife by his side, Walter Ethalon Forte' Jr. passed peacefully at his home in Lancaster, California on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 3:03 AM. Walter was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, pastor, and friend, as well as a community leader in the Antelope Valley. He pastored the Growing Valley Baptist Church in Lancaster, California for 50 years. Pastor Forte' followed God's mandate to "make disciples…, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… teaching them to observe all things" that the Lord had commanded. Not only was he instrumental in building the kingdom of God, but Pastor Forte' was also a builder by trade. His handiwork can be seen throughout the Antelope Valley, as well as in many other communities - both residential and commercial. Pastor Forte' is predeceased by his parents: Walter Sr. & Hattie Forte'; two brothers: Vern and LP Forte'; and two sisters: Annie Mae Forte' and Esterlean Henderson. Pastor Forte' is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Sweet Louise; daughters: Alma Collins, Linda Cayce, Dinah Howell & Janice Forte'-Watson; sons: Walter E. III, Nathan, & Joel Forte; 19 grandchildren & 13 great grandchildren. A wake will take place at Growing Valley Baptist Church, 44818 20th Street West, Lancaster, CA on December 28, 2012 from 4:00PM to 8:00PM. Pastor Forte's Celebration of Life service will be held at Growing Valley Baptist Church on December 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM with Pastor Jacob D.R. Johnson officiating. Interment will follow at Joshua Memorial Park and Mortuary, 808 East Lancaster Boulevard, Lancaster, CA. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the members of the Growing Valley Baptist Church, High Desert Medical Group (Dr. J. Valentino), Dr. Anil Kumar, and Hoffman Hospice. Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice!

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  1. Pastor, the adult realities of life preclude my physical presence at your homegoing celebration today€”and a jubilant gathering I am sure it will be, no doubt, for you have touched oh so many lives of folks within my generation (I€™m now 34 years old). Though we are spread out all over the nation (and, perhaps, even the world) please know that you are a Spiritual father to a many of us; and, your passing from this world to the next reverberates.

    Growing Valley Baptist Church is all I knew as a young child: the rides to church (in a number of Forte-owned Lincoln cars€”Pastor know he loved him some Lincoln€™s back in the day); 6:30am morning prayer service before I headed to middle school; summertime vacation bible school; singing in the choir (and sometimes playing the piano€”my first lessons coming at the hands of Sis. Forte in their lovely home)€the memories flood my mind as I recount the Pastoral guidance I received for oh so many years. I thank God for your unyielding steadfastness to holiness, for preaching and teaching rightful discernment in the spirit and for being a true Pastor (both on and off the pulpit).

    In the physical realm I am saddened to hear of your homegoing, but I am delighted in the spirit to know that a vessel that God used
    to affect so many folks throughout the years is now with God himself. Pastor Forte, please continue serving as the father-figure from up above as you have been to so many down here; unquestionably, you lived and breathed Matthew 5:16: €œLet your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.€

    TO THE FORTE FAMILY€may your physical hearts be uplifted
    during this obviously very trying time by the soon-to-come outpouring of blessings from folks all over that have been touched by your Husband, Father, Grandfather€and my Pastor, Walter E. Forte, Jr.

    With a grateful heart,

    Gordon Phillips, Jr.

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