Terrance Henry Walker sparks inquiries


Adriana Ivanoff

Terrance Henry Walker holding up a sign that reads “If Jesus were here, would you recognize him?” on campus.

Adriana Ivanoff, Staff Writer

As crowds of students rush past through parking lots and on sidewalks, a single hand-painted sign with bright red letters reads, “If Jesus was here would you recognize him?” 

A relatively simple question seemed to carry more weight than some students realized in the first few weeks of the fall semester. Confusion came from trying to interpret the sign’s meaning. Some wondered if the significance of the sign had to do with questioning the current era in faith and not actuality the physical appearance of Jesus himself.

Most of those who interacted with the sign missed the point of his attempts and felt uncomfortable with the nature of the question being asked, which is a valid response to faith for some. 

Terrance Henry Walker, the man behind the sign, is asking questions and diving into scripture to make others think deeper about faith. Walker had no qualms when it came to talking about scripture, which most people tend to shy away from in general, as faith can make people afraid or feel like they must absorb the same teachings when they don’t always know the answers. 

Walker had his friends, Wesley Johnson and Nikhil Raverio, alongside him. There were also a series of other signs that prompted similar questions around campus. 

Emotions that surrounded the students who interacted or passed by him were mixed, ranging from annoyance to admirability. During this phase of trying to stipulate change, reactions will always be varied. 

Walker has a distinct objective and tries to do so in the most respectful manner without providing insult to others. He said, “My goal is to provoke thought and not force or impose my beliefs onto others but instead allow them to question their own reality by posing questions based on their beliefs. I also stay quiet until I’m spoken to or someone approaches me.”

One response was from student Ashley Dickson, who wished others would follow the same pursuit in being brave enough in being more vocal. She respected the way he took a stand asking questions that were important to him.

Another student Jayden Turner thought that Walker was attempting to stir up controversy through this. “[It] seemed like he was trying to spark a religious debate,” said Turner.

The reason why some students may have interpreted his words in this manner is because at one point in time he was Christian and was asking the questions he had wondered once himself and wanted to provide answers that he himself had discovered. 

Walker was originally a Christian but converted to the Muslim faith, allowing him to go on a spiritual and personal journey unique to him. When describing his incredibly powerful journey, he said, “God chose me to be a Muslim when I was in my car one day listening to testimonies of heaven and hell on youtube. Although it was late in the day, I heard the church bell of the Seventh Day Adventist church in Antioch and felt compelled to take the short but steep drive up to its doors. Upon arriving I was stopped in my tracks. The locked doors of the church prevented me from entering. I gave up on my curious search for something deeper and started walking back to my car. But suddenly, I froze and realized that I had driven up there for a reason. I turned around and walked back to the doors and got on my knees and remembered how Jesus in the Bible prayed to God. I threw my face to the floor and began giving my will to Him. Mind you, I had no idea what a Muslim even was but after pouring my heart out to God I felt a long and insatiable urge to continue my search and my life began to change. 

However, I wanted this change to be real and didn’t want to come closer to God only for the way it made me feel, I wanted to find him for real. I wanted to discover God in the most tangibly spiritual way. So, almost two and a half years after continuous research, I found out a way and, in doing so and the only way in which one can do so I became Muslim in the summer of July 2017.” 

It was the freedom of prayer and the everlasting search for God that brought him towards his faith.

The man behind the sign, or poncho Jesus man as he had worn a leopard print poncho, went from being in the navy, to being homeless and, finally, being an advocate of faith. He grew up in Fremont, California after being adopted when he was young and is currently waiting for an interview for a job and beginning to undergo training for it as well. 

He spoke about how he wanted people to look at the depth of life, to see that a single tree became the cause of wars because trees created paper, and from paper, money. He talked about the corruption of monetary values instilled on others and an inability to see the bigger picture by missing the smallest of details. 

It was the tone of his voice that seemed to say that beyond the face of your religion and the words that keep you safe in the darkest of nights, there will always be a darkness looming over everyone that never seems to be seen yet is always lived in. His God was his only light and he devotedly wanted to try and save people’s souls. 

The topic of religion is nothing new to Los Medanos College with the Christian Bibles being passed out as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting the campus from time to time. 

What’s new is the eye catching displays of his signs which Walker refers to as an “in your face approach without being in your face.”

Once someone approaches him he has a willingness to go in depth about personal religious beliefs even though “Islam means submission to the Creator of the heavens and the earth and the Micro-, Uni-, and Macroverses. The Creator of Everything. So Muslim (Mu- Islam) is ONE who submits themselves to God. This is what all the prophets of old came to teach. So by definition, they themselves were Muslim. Through Islam people will learn the truth about the worlds. Yes, I said worlds because Allah is the Lord of the worlds. The Lord of the Unseen. Jesus spoke Aramaic in his time. The Aramaic for God is ‘Allah” so spread that message to the people. Jesus is a Muslim. Most of the prophets were.” 

Although it may sound like he’s attempting to convert people, he actually has a much bigger goal in mind, “My mission also extends beyond religion and I hope to show people Satan’s grip on this 3rd dimensional reality.” 

It was clear from the moment he was approached for an interview that being heard meant more to him than he could begin to express. “This was the reason for it all,” said Walker.

He expanded on this further when he said, “After a year and a half of trying to wake people up, people are starting to catch on, people are starting to listen. This is an issue of salvation. People’s lives are at stake and the people on the top of the totem pole are lying to us about every aspect of life. This is Satan’s world down to the atom. If you don’t become aware of this as soon as possible you will be led astray.”

It was that pure wish that spoke in an echoing silence that separated one man from an entire noise driven crowd bustling by. The loudest things in life are spoken in a layer of silence in which the weight of worlds is felt.