Cole County, Missouri Genealogy Trails

Biographies

REV. THOMAS WASHINGTON BARRETT

1835-1894

 

Religious Activity in Missouri  1860-1894

J. C. M.

 

            T. W. Barrett was born in Wood County, Virginia, in 1835.  In 1856 he united with the Baptist Church in Marietta, Ohio, and was baptized by Rev. Dr. Leonard.  The same year he came to Missouri, and soon after entered William Jewell College.

            He was ordained to the ministry Oct. 28th, 1860, and immediately began work as a Missionary of the North Liberty Association.  This work he continued for one year, and then located in Weston, Mo.  At the end of one year’s service here, he was called to the pastorate of the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Leavenworth, Kansas.  After two and one-half years on this field he was chosen as pastor in Saint Joseph, Mo.  He then accepted an appointment as financial agent of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention for the northern part of Missouri.  He soon relinquished this work and was appointed Missionary and general agent for the General Association.  This work he continued for a part of the years 1866 and 1867.

            In the latter part of the year 1867 he was recalled to the oversight of the church in Weston.

            Here his work was very fruitful.  In two and one-half years the membership was more than quadrupled in number, and a beautiful and substantial house of worship was erected.

            In 1869 Mr. Barrett was invited to the pastorate in Hannibal, Mo.  Here again a new house of worship was built, and the membership developed into larger activity and increased in numbers.

            For a number of years the State Mission Board had sought the establishment of a self-supporting and vigorous Baptist Church in the Capital of our State.

            It was believed that T. W. Barrett was the man whom God had endowed for this work.  He was, therefore, induced to take this field and invest a few years of his life, at least, in this enterprise.  The anticipations of the Board and of the brotherhood at large were not disappointed.

            In speaking of his work in Jefferson City, the writer, from personal experience, knows whereof he writes.  At one period of his pastorate there it was my privilege to labor with him for about three weeks in daily meetings.  By faithful preaching and diligent pastoral work the seed had been sown and the soil well prepared, and therefore the reaping time had come.  And he that had sown the good seed, and he that aided in reaping, rejoiced together.

            During his pastorate in Jefferson City he served as Chaplain of the State Senate and also of the State Prison.  In these official positions there was the same quiet and gentlemanly fidelity as in all the other positions he held.

            He was blessed with ability to be firm, and yet always gentle.

            When he became pastor in Jefferson City there was a heavy debt upon the house of worship, and outside help had been given.  This debt was all paid, and the church became fully self-sustaining.

            He was not able, when a student at William Jewell College, to complete the entire course and receive the degree given to students who had made high grades in all the studies essential to graduation.  But he had proved himself so diligent in study and so proficient in all lines of research work, that in 1872 the College conferred upon him the merited degree of A. M.

            He was an active member of the Board of State Missions, and seldom failed to attend the quarterly meetings, though at the time members paid the expenses of travel out of their own private funds.

            For a portion of the time that he served on this board he was recording secretary.  Before the State Sunday School work and the State Mission work were put into the hands of a single Board, he was also a member of the Board of the State Sunday School Convention.

            After a long and successful pastorate at Jefferson City Mr. Barrett was chosen President of Stephens College, of Columbia, Missouri.

            For ten years he managed this College for Women with entire satisfaction to the Board of Managers and to the patrons of the school.

            Though many of his friends felt that one who was so well adapted to fill the office of pastor ought not to have turned aside, even for such an office as training young women for a high and honorable mission in life, yet all knew that his work here would be a blessing to many homes, and continue to life up multitudes to a higher purpose throughout their lives.

            That he did his work well here, need not be written for those who know of his fidelity to every trust reposed in him.  But his health began to fail, and he survived the surrender of this position only about one year.

            He died in Columbia in July, 1894, and was buried in the cemetery of that city.

            He left the record of one who lives a good life and faithfully serves in every position that he was placed.  He was honored and loved by the Baptist brotherhood and sisterhood in all parts of the State, and many of the pupils in Stephens College who were under his instruction from other states have a warm place in their hearts for him, both as teacher and friend.

            The two Barretts, Rev. W. C., the father, and T. W., the son, left an unspotted record in the annals of Missouri Baptist history.

(Source: Missouri Baptist Biography A Series of Life-Sketches Indicating the Growth and Prosperity of the Baptist Churches As Represented in the Lives and Labors of Eminent Men and Women in Missouri Prepared at the Request of the Missouri Baptist Historical Society by J. C. Maple A.M., D.D. and R. P. Rider, A.M. Volume III; Published for The Missouri Baptist Historical Society, Liberty, Missouri by Schooley Stationery and Printing Co, Kansas City, Missouri (1918) transcribed by Mary Saggio)

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