The CHRISTIAN HERITAGE FOUNDATION was established in 1982 by Cleburne businessman Walter G. Mize, with the absolute support of his wife, Mary Ann. Walter had been a born-again Christian since 1948, but he wanted to know what more he could do to serve God. Since the age of 10, he was saved in a little country church north of Iredell in Bosque County, Texas, Walter’s faith and trust in JESUS CHRIST as his Savior and Lord had grown and matured. Walter knew that God had blessed him and his family, and he felt a strong conviction to do something in return. He had tithed to his home church and donated to other Christian organizations, but he wanted to do more. His question was, “What Would God Have Me Do?
The seeds to the answer had been planted in Walter’s mind over years of reading and Bible study. Several scriptures in particular rooted and grew in his mind. In addition, a quotation from the Reverend George F. Macleod’s book Only One Way Left, had fascinated Walter for years. Walter first saw this quotation in the mid-1960s. A business associate and friend, Clyde Zellers, who was also a lay Methodist minister, had a copy of it under the glass top of his office desk. Every time Walter visited Clyde, he would read it. Clyde noticed his interest and gave him a copy, which Walter had carried in his Bible for over 40 years.
The scriptures indicated to Walter what needed to be done: “HELP CHURCHES HELP PEOPLE.”
The quotation indicated where it should be done: “IN THE CENTER OF THE MARKETPLACE.”
These scriptures and this quotation became the cornerstone of the CHRISTIAN HERITAGE FOUNDATION. After thinking about it for years, Walter first voiced his dream around 1980. He mentioned the dream of a Christian foundation that would “lift the cross of Jesus in the marketplace” to Ken Brumley, who served Field Street Baptist Church as youth minister at that time. They sat up almost all night discussing the idea. At first Walter considered an organization without geographic limits – one that could serve Christian missions overseas or help in other parts of the US. He had been talking to people about funding a shipment of food to Africa, when he read a B. C. comic strip. A copy of the cartoon is shown to the left, and you can see why it spoke so strongly to Walter. He decided there were plenty of people in Johnson County who needed help, and who needed Jesus. The Foundation would help churches help people here in his county.