The legacy of pastor, leader, teacher and friend Walter B. “Lucky” Arnold III will be multiplied for generations, thanks to his church’s strategic investment in a new scholarship for a Palm Beach Atlantic seminary student.
First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach created a scholarship in Arnold’s name to celebrate him upon his retirement as senior pastor after 40 years of ministry there. He has served on the University’s Board of Trustees since 2001 and gave the winter Commencement address in 2019.
The scholarship will be awarded to a Master of Divinity student who is called to serve as a pastor and pursuing ordination, with preference to students who are participating in the life and ministry of First Presbyterian Church and/or seeking ordination in the ECO denomination.
“The School of Ministry and seminary is one of the great strengths of PBA,” Arnold said. “To invest in the future leadership of the church as I complete my pastorate feels like a fitting capstone of my adult life invested in mission in and from Palm Beach County.”
In ministry, Jesus’ strategy was to “equip and prepare” teachers who would equip and prepare those who would come after them, Arnold said. PBA’s seminary is a strategic institution in that mission.
“I am blessed to be a small part of that great ongoing work of God, birthed in the heart and imagination of Dr. Jess Moody and kept alive and fanned into flame by Dr. (Donald) Warren, who invited me to join this remarkable university,” Arnold said.
Arnold loves the Bible and teaching the Word as one continuous story from Genesis to Revelation. He has led many trips to the Holy Land, during which he highlights how locations in Scripture add depth to its interpretation.
“Under Lucky’s pastoral leadership, dozens of our students have been nurtured in their ministry callings,” said School of Ministry Assistant Dean Dr. Justin K Hardin, who oversees PBA’s seminary and graduate programs. “With this new scholarship for future pastors, Lucky’s enthusiastic support will continue to energize our M.Div. for years to come. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for his ongoing partnership.”
PBA Master of Divinity student Josh Bartz, a 2019 ministry graduate, has benefited from Arnold’s mentorship as he serves at First Pres. Arnold played a crucial role in helping Bartz identify his calling to ministry, giving Bartz opportunities to serve, preach and learn from Arnold’s many years of experience, Bartz said.
What’s more, Arnold always treated Bartz — who was, by his own description, “young, naïve and very inexperienced” — like a colleague, referring to him as “pastor” and including him in pastoral conversations and event planning.
“His inclusive nature helped reassure my calling and it gave me confidence that God had me right where He wanted me,” Bartz said. “Lucky is one of the most humble and selfless people I know, and I am so grateful to have been a recipient of his wisdom and care.”
Photo 1: The Rev. Walter B. "Lucky" Arnold III gave the University's winter Commencement address in 2019.
Photo 2: Josh Bartz, a Palm Beach Atlantic seminary student, benefited from Arnold's mentorship. He serves at First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach, where Arnold was the pastor for 40 years.