Missionary, Marshal, Chaplain, and More
Dan Walls thought he was retiring — now it seems like he was only beginning.When Detective Dan Walls prepared to retire from the Terre Haute, Indiana Police Department in 2012, having served 25 years on the force, including being the department chaplain for his final 10 years, it seemed that his years of interacting with fellow police officers and dealing with the lost of society were coming to a close.
But God had other plans — a whole lot of other plans — that have been woven together in such a fashion that not even Walls could have ever imagined it.
Walls, 61, and his wife of 24 years, Felicia, attend Cross Tabernacle in Terre Haute. As an officer and police chaplain, Walls was the coordinator and facilitator of the Global University Study Center at his church until leaving for the U.S. Mission field. When the church launched HonorBound (HB) Motorcycle Ministry, Walls taught the Global course, The Local Church in Evangelism, as part of their HB training.
At the time, Walls had no interest in motorcycling, however he was persuaded by Senior Pastor Keith Taylor and the HB local chapter president, Mike Budnik, to get a motorcycle.
Walls explains that he had ridden motorcycles in his younger years. However, after the death of his brother, who was a member of an outlaw motorcycle club, he wanted nothing more to do with motorcycling.
That all changed when Budnik found a 1998 Ultra Classic Harley Davidson for sale.
“My prayer was if God wanted me to ride again He would have to find me a Harley within my budget of $5,000,” Walls says, “and when they found me one at $4,500, I figured God must have a plan and wanted me to ride again.”
Walls bought the motorcycle, and in 2012 he attended a motorcycle ride to honor a Terre Haute police officer who was killed in the line of duty. Walls was asked to join in as the police chaplain, and that was when he first encountered a group of law enforcement motorcycle riders calling themselves “Blue Knights” as they rode along to honor the fallen officer.
During the ride, the local Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club (LEMC) approached Walls about needing a chaplain for their chapter — would he be interested?
Walls initially declined. “But the Holy Spirit didn’t give me peace about that decision, so shortly after I joined the Blue Knights,” he says.
The Blue Knights LEMC is made up of active and retired officers and have over 650 chapters in 29 nations worldwide. Walls became the chaplain of the Blue Knights’ Indiana chapter X (10).
Throwing himself into his role as the chapter chaplain went right along with his ministry calling as he was already serving law enforcement and prisons as a U.S. Missions chaplain.
In 2014 Walls was selected as the Great Lakes Chaplain of Blue Knights overseeing some 80 chapters in six states and part of Ontario, Canada.
As a regional chaplain, Walls holds many events, including blessing of the bikes (praying over officers’ bikes and person), giving out Bibles and other ministry material, visiting the sick, attending international and regional conventions, and even conducting water baptisms.
“I believe the most important thing I do,” Walls observes, “is to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to move though me to reach the men and women of the Blue Knights.”
Since 2004, Walls facilitated and coordinated the Global University Study Center at Cross Tabernacle. However, when the church experienced a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Walls was called into Chaplaincy Ministries and introduced Global University courses at the Federal Correction Complex in Terre Haute, which includes medium- and high-security facilities that house about 3,000 inmates combined.
“Twice a week we’re in that federal prison teaching with Global University/Berean School of the Bible course materials,” he says.
Walls admits that at first he was reluctant to go to the prison because of his background in law enforcement, but again God’s plans outweighed his as he stepped into what God was doing.
Walls says men in prison are hungry for the presence of God and the ministry of His Spirit. So far he has graduated four students who have completed their “Level One” ministerial studies and is seeing the men already evangelizing the Muslims population in the prison.
Taylor, who has been ministering at Cross Tabernacle for the past 20 years and is a founding member of the Bond Slaves (Christian) Motorcycle Club, says Walls’ experiences and relationship with God set him apart.
Taylor observes, “The experiences he has with law enforcement and missions, helping people through tough times, whether in prison, drug addiction, or going through some kind of trauma . . . he has an anointing on him to help people through difficult situations.”
However, with Walls’ ministry expanding, Taylor, 63, says he’s become more like an evangelist who comes back to Cross Tabernacle when he’s not on the road ministering. “He just held a first responders service here at the church two weeks ago,” Taylor says. “He does a lot of those with churches.”
As a former police officer and as a missionary, a chaplain, and a college course teacher and preacher behind bars, Walls wears many hats and, in 2015, he added another hat when he became the town marshal of nearby Seelyville.
“This badge,” says Walls, displaying his marshal’s badge, “is the key to reaching officers. Once an officer knows that you’re a part of the family of law enforcement, those walls of protection come down, communication is more open, and opportunities for ministry are more easily identified.”
In July 2018, Walls received yet another surprise. He was named the Blue Knights international chaplain, which includes more than 19,500 members in about 650 chapters in 29 countries. Now his responsibilities span not just the central U.S., but continents.
“My goal is to make sure all Blue Knights and police officers are heaven bound,” Walls says.
If Walls had any doubts about this being a part of God’s plan, his wife, Felicia, is a foreign language teacher — fluent in both French and Spanish — and is also a credentialed AG minister; skills that are invaluable in international ministry.
But Walls just laughs — he knows that God has everything under control. He has the unique perspective of having seen his then 14-year-old son brought back from the dead in 2011. While playing basketball, his son went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing for about 10 minutes.
“When I arrived at the gym, the Holy Spirit said these words as I looked into his dead eyes, ‘Speak Life,’” Walls recalls. “The Holy Spirit had brought back to mind the Scripture from Proverbs 18:21. I spoke life and placed my body over his and began praying in tongues, and suddenly he started to breathe again.”
Later the EMTs asked Walls if he was praying in Latin. The firefighters and EMTs told him that as he prayed and spoke life they felt something come around them and they witnessed his son Daniel blink his eyes and begin to breathe.
Despite neurologists’ original prognosis of permanent brain damage, which would include loss of memory, Walls’ son made a complete recovery.
“God did an instantaneous miracle,” Walls says simply.
With that kind of firsthand view of God’s power, few things have a chance of intimidating Walls when it comes to God’s calling on — and provision for — his life.