| 1632 series |
POD: May, 1631
|Appearance(s):||Ring of Fire, Ring of Fire II, Grantville Gazette XIX-|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Nationality:||United States of Europe (formerly United States)|
|Spouse:||Helen Chalker (deceased)|
John Chalker was a reverend of Grantville's Pentecostal Church. On the day of the Ring of Fire, Chalker was visiting Lana Soper at the Manning Assisted Living Center in Grantville. While praying with her, he heard the thunder of the Ring of Fire. After learning what had happened, Chalker was dismayed to learn that his home was left back in the original timeline. After the Grantville Emergency Committee prohibited any driving to conserve supplies of gasoline, Chalker traded his car at a auto dealership for a wagon, horses and some money. Chalker learned from the car dealer that he had just finished his spring tent sale on the Saturday before the Ring of Fire and still had the tent he'd rented. Since he couldn't return it, and he didn't need it, the dealer gave it to Chalker as part of their deal. Chalker used it as a makeshift church (and also as his temporary home). Chalker believed that God had provided him with the items necessary to continue His plan.
In the following weeks, Reverend Chalker met German Lutheran Dieter Fischer at the refugee center and later again during his sermon. There, he introduced Fischer to his religion, believing that God sent Fischer to him as a opportunity to translate his notes on Pentecostalism into German, allowing him to add new followers. This was reinforced by his belief that Fischer's last name referenced the "fisher of men" from Mark 1:16, strengthening Chalker's belief.
Chalker later heard about Fischer's powers from hearing from Slater Dobbs' testimony and talked with Fischer about this. He learned from him about 'The Other', something Fischer experienced whenever he was in a dangerous situation and caused him to lose consciousness yet be aware of what is happening. Chalker, having previously experienced a dream, believed Fischer to be driven by the Holy Ghost. Eventually, in September 1632, Chalker and the Church Elders elected Fischer as the very first minister of the Pentecostal Church in the new universe and as well as Chief Minister of Down-timer Outreach.
In October, Chalker suffered a fever. Since that made him unable to do the morning radio devotional when it was the Pentecostals' turn, Fischer substituted for Chalker, and instantly became a popular spokesperson for the Pentecostal Church. Chalker and the Church Elders were very surprised at receiving large numbers of fan letters and donations from Fischer's broadcast, as well by having new converts to the Church. Seeing Fischer's broadcast as a way to reach out to the people affected by the Thirty Years' War, Chalker and the Elders funded their own personal radio show that was hosted by Fischer.
In December, Chalker visited Dr. James Nichols for a diagnosis of his health, and learned that he had a form of heart failure; he was in the early stages of a left ventricular myocardial infarction. Also, Chalker was disappointed to learn that he needed to limit his sermons to avoid overexciting his heart. Eventually, Chalker stepped down from his duty, and Fischer took his place as the church's new leader. However, he was still able to serve as a church counselor and got the chance to finally publish A Pentecostal Commentary and Concordance. Since then, Chalker's health had worsened, and he was later hospitalized at the Manning Assisted Living Center. By this time, after Denmark's defeat in 1634, many Pentecostal home churches were being burned down by Gustavus Adolphus-loyalists in response to Fischer's anti-emperor comments. Chalker was especially concerned about this, and gave Fischer written speeches containing wording from the up-time civil rights movement, as well as specific political speeches inspired by Populism to help his congregation in Erfurt deal with the growing animosity towards their church.