Archive for the ‘Methodist Episcopal Church South’ Tag

The End of the Line (As Far As I Know) for George Washington Barrett Sermon Outlines   Leave a comment

George W. Barrett Scan

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


I have, to the best of my knowledge, added all extant and complete sermon outlines by my great-grandfather, George Washington Barrett (1873-1956), to this weblog.  Many others did exist; this I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  The ravages of time and human carelessness have denied many of these documents to me, one interested in family history.

Barrett, an active Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, then the reunited Methodist Church from 1899 to 1945, was a man of his time, as I am a man of my time.  A century separated my birth from his.  One hundred years made a great deal of difference.  He was well-acclimated to old-style Southern Methodism with a Pietistic streak.  I, in contrast, seemed born to become an Episcopalian, given my penchant for ritual formality and my spiritual need for frequent Holy Eucharist.  These differences have led me to occasional fits of frustration with my great-grandfather Barrett, especially when I have typed one of his denunciations of “externals” (a frequent topic of consternation among Pietists) or playing cards, and I have not been shy about expressing myself in writing regarding such issues.

I make no excuses for such criticism.  If the fact that I have expressed an opinion different from his offends someone, so be it.  Such a person, offended by the reality of subjective differences, will experience life as a series of tizzies, I suppose.  That is not my responsibility.

I do thank my great-grandfather Barrett for doing his part in maintaining the Christian faith in my family.  This faith became part of my inheritance.  It nurtured me until I claimed it for myself.  The rituals marking that faith journey include baptism (by the hand of my father, John D. Taylor, III, at North Newington Baptist Church, Newington, Georgia, in 1979), confirmation into The Episcopal Church (at St. Anne’s, Tifton, Georgia) by Bishop Harry Shipps in 1991, reaffirmation of faith (at Trinity, Statesboro) in the presence of Bishop Henry Louttit, Jr., in 2003, and reaffirmation again (at the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia) in the presence of Bishop J. Neil Alexander in 2008.  Although my spiritual path differs from that of my great-grandfather Barrett, it exists in large part due to him.  So he, warts and all, was a positive (even if indirect) influence on me.








Luke 22, 27b   1 comment

Luke 22 Sermon

Above:  Part of the Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor



My great-grandfather made a note to himself.  He prompted himself to use a sermon illustration about one Mrs. Taft saying something to one Bishop Beauchamp.  That style of prompt is nothing new or rare; I use it in my teaching notes.  I have, however, tried to understand who the people were and what Mrs. Taft said.  I have been partially successful:

  • Virginia-born William Benjamin Beauchamp (1869-1931), from 1922 a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1845-1939), promoted ecumenical and missionary work, especially ecumenical missionary work.  He was especially involved in Methodist missions in Europe.  For a time he presided over the North Georgia Conference and the South Georgia Conference, USA.  My great-grandfather, being an official of the North Georgia Conference, would have known Beauchamp and heard some of his stories.
  • “Mrs. Taft” was probably Anna Sinton Taft, wife of Charles Phelps Taft I (1843-1929), brother of President then Chief Justice William Howard Taft.  Beauchamp apparently had a speaking engagement in Cincinnati in 1925.

Yet I still have no idea what she said to Beauchamp, assuming that she is Mrs. Taft of the sermon illustration.  If anyone can replace my ignorance with the light of objectively correct facts, please do.





…but I am among you as he that serveth.

–Luke 22:27b, Authorized Version


[There will be] need for service as long as there are needs, as food, raiment, intellectual needs.  To help supply these is helpful service.  Let all be done in his name, as unto the Lord.


Jesus came not to be ministered unto but to minister.  Hence the text.  He founded a kingdom to be characterized by service.  Everything else [is] to be subordinated to service–to duty–illustration = Mrs. Taft to Bp. Beauchamp.


How the lives of men have been enriched by service–Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Paul, [John] Wesley & multiplied thousands–mothers, teachers, young lives devoted to helpfulness.

There is no end to the story.

“Whose I am and whom I serve.”  When is there a higher life on this earth?

How great is the need today!  The church, yea, statesmen, are concerned about the world’s need.

Love can’t pass by on the other side now of all times.

May each of us have this vision and count it a joy to help.

His “well done” will be glory forever.


The Ministerial Career (1899-1945) of George Washington Barrett (1873-1956)   3 comments

George W. Barrett

Above:  George Washington Barrett

An image taped inside a family history book


I have derived most information from Journals of the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, (through 1938) and of The Methodist Church (1939 to 1945 and 1956).  I have also drawn information from George Washington Barrett’s small book, Descendants of John Barrett and William Winburn (Decatur, Georgia:  Banner Press, Emory University, 1949).  And I have added my own knowledge from other sources.




Some Preliminaries:

Most pastoral moves occurred in November.  The North Georgia Conference made the transition to Summer moves after George Washington Barrett retired.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1845-1939) reunited with its parent, the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939), and a sibling, the Methodist Protestant Church (1828-1939) to form The Methodist Church (1939-1968).

The Methodist Church (1939-1968) joined with its relative, the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1946-1968), to create The United Methodist Church.

I recommend Google Street View as a wonderful way to get good images of some of these church buildings.

The Conference my great-grandfather as a troubleshooter frequently, hence many short pastorates.   Often he had only a few days’ notice before a move.



Licensed to preach on November 15


Student, Young Harris College, December 1, 1895-May 22, 1899


Admitted to the North Georgia Conference, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South

Ordained Deacon by Bishop Eugene R. Hendrix, D.D., L.L.D.


Pastor, the Alpharetta Circuit (five churches)

Supply Pastor, starting July-November 1899, filling in for the pastor, who was ill


Married Nellie Seguin Fox on January 17


Pastor, Blue Ridge Church


Ordained Elder by Bishop Joseph Staunton Key


Pastor, Palmetto Circuit (five churches)


Firstborn son, Randolph Winburn Barrett, born


Pastor, Douglasville Circuit (two churches)


Second child, Sarah Claiborne Barrett, born


Pastor, Cornelia-Demorest Circuit (two churches)

A few years ago, when I taught some courses at the Demorest campus of Piedmont College, I noticed a certain building across the street.  The Demorest Womens’ Club house looked like an old church.   That is because it used to be one.  It was the home of the Demorest congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS).  Demorest also had a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC).  The two Demorest congregations merged in 1939, when their denominations did, moving into the stately MEC building.  That building, unfortunately, has gone the way of all flesh.  In the late 1940s, however, the Methodist and Congregationalist churches of Demorest merged, forming the Demorest Methodist Congregationalist Federated Church (currently a United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church affiliate), in the home of the former Congregational Church, just up the hill and behind the old MECS church.  The bell in the yard of the Federated Church is from the former MEC structure.

So, when I look at the clubhouse of the Demorest Womens’ Club, I see a building in which my great-grandfather preached.


Third child, George Dickey Barrett, born


Pastor, Tate-Nelson Circuit, Marietta District (two churches)


An Assistant Statistician of the North Georgia Conference


Pastor, Acworth Circuit (four churches)


Fourth child, Lucy Seguin Barrett, born


Statistician of the North Georgia Conference


Pastor, Union Point Circuit (four churches)


Pastor, Asbury Circuit, Augusta (two churches)


Fifth child, Nell Fox Barrett, my grandmother, born on February 2


Pastor, Lithonia Circuit (three churches)


Pastor, Gray Circuit (three churches)


Sixth child, Margaret Elizabeth Barrett, born


An Assistant Secretary of the North Georgia Conference


Pastor, Tignall/Broad River Circuit (two churches)


Pastor, St. Paul Church, Gainesville, Georgia


Secretary of the North Georgia Conference


Pastor, First Church, Winder


Editor of the Conference Journal


Pastor, St. Luke Church, Augusta


Pastor, Commerce Circuit (two churches)


Pastor, First Church, Rockmart

George Dickey Barrett (George’s son) made new carved oak furniture–an altar rail, a lectern, pulpit chairs, the communion table, and choir panels for the church in 1932.  He donated his time and labor, but the church had to hold fundraisers to finance the purchase of materials.  The church used this furniture until 1954.  Sources =,2069657 and family accounts


Pastor, Second Avenue Church, Rome


Pastor, Underwood Memorial Church, Atlanta


Resided at 866 Euclid Road, NE., Atlanta, in a house his wife, Nellie Sequin Fox Barrett, inherited




Died on June 12

Winder Pictures   Leave a comment


Above:  The Parsonage of Winder Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Winder, Georgia

Scan of a photograph reproduced in C. Fred Ingram, ed., Beadland to Barrow:  A History of Barrow County, Georgia, from the Earliest Times to the Present (Atlanta, GA:  Cherokee Publishing Company, 1983), page 265


George Washington Barrett (1873-1956), my great-grandfather, served as the pastor of Winder Methodist Episcopal Church, South, from November 1925 to November 1927.  Thus he, his wife, Nellie Sequin Fox Barrett (1876-1958). and four or five of their six children lived in this parsonage for two years.  Randolph Winburn Barrett (1905-?) had left the nest in 1922, at Tignall (  Sarah Claiborne Barrett (1908-1954) might have left the next before November 1925, but I know that the four youngest children were part of the household at the time of the 1930 Census.   So they would have been part of the household in 1925-1927.  They were:

  • George Dickey Barrett (1910-1989);
  • Lucy Seguin Barrett (1912-2001);
  • Nell Fox Barrett, my grandmother (1915-2001); and
  • Margaret Elizabeth Barrett (1918-2007).


Scan of a photograph reproduced in C. Fred Ingram, ed., Beadland to Barrow:  A History of Barrow County, Georgia, from the Earliest Times to the Present (Atlanta, GA:  Cherokee Publishing Company, 1983), page 279

The brick structure of the church, erected in 1904, looked like this until the early 1920s, when renovation occurred.  The building had its new front doors, front porch, and front steps when my great-grandfather and his family arrived.  The parsonage was on the right, behind the church building.


Above:  The former home of First United Methodist Church, Winder, Georgia, Circa 2010

Image from the former website of the Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, Winder, Georgia

The First Methodist Church relocated to a new plot of land in 1964.  When I found the old building in 2010, the Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, an independent congregation, had occupied the building and undertaken the work of restoring it.  Alas, a fire resulting from a lightning strike destroyed the structure last Summer.

When I compare the older and more recent church photographs and recall what I saw when walking the ground, I notice that the old house on the left in the older photograph was still there in 2012 and and that the old parsonage was not.




A Related Post:


Family Tree of George Washington Barrett   5 comments

George W. Barrett

Above:  George Washington Barrett

An image taped inside a volume of family history

One of my great-grandfathers was George Washington Barrett (September 3, 1873-June 12, 1956).  His paternal great-grandfather was John Barrett (born circa 1776), probably the son of Reuben Barrett, a soldier on the colonial side of the U.S. Revolutionary War.  With John Barrett the family settled in Hall County, Georgia, the seat of which is Gainesville.  John Barrett had a son, Elisha Chastain Barrett (June 13-1806-May 13, 1886).  Elisha, born in Pendleton, South Carolina, was a farmer.  George Washington Barrett, a Methodist of the old school (no alcohol or playing cards) and a staunch Victorian (down to saying “limbs” instead of “legs”), described him as follows:

He was a loyal friend, sunny by serious-minded, an obliging neighbor.  He was strictly temperate, drank no alcoholic beverage, used no tobacco, was as far as any man from profaning God’s name.  In the years when one must take long trips to market, he took great care to see that his team rested on the Sabbath day.  He would no more have engaged in a game of cards than he would have undertaken a trip to the moon….

As a Christian and church official he was very devout and faithful.  He read his Bible much.  He received much pleasure and profit from reading two books of sermons, one by Bishop Thomas A. Morris of the Methodist Church and one by Rev. Ira L. Potter of the Georgia Conference.  In his latter years, if unable to attend church services on Sunday, he would read from these books and his Bible, often reading aloud, till his cup of rejoicing would overflow.

–George W. Barrett, Descendants of John Barrett and William Winburn (Emory University, Banner Press, 1949), page 6

Elisha was a member of what is now First United Methodist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.

He married twice.  His first wife was Nancy Mabry (February 2, 1810-January or February 1849), whom he wedded on January 15, 1828.  She died a few weeks after giving birth to a daughter, Nancy Elizabeth, her tenth child.  Wife number two was Lee Ann Pendely (June 1, 1823-July 10, 1910), married to Elijah from September 28, 1876.

William Wesley Barrett (January 20-1835-December 30, 1911), father of George Washington Barrett, was the fourth child of Elisha and Nancy.  He was a lifelong Methodist.  William Wesley was also a Confederate veteran, having served in Company K, 43rd Georgia Regiment from March 1862 until the end of that treasonous war.  (I added the “treasonous” aspect of that sentence.)  Of William Wesley Barrett my great-grandfather wrote:

The family altar was a fixture in his home.  He sought to train his children wisely and to shield them from the sins of the day.  If any one profaned God’s name in the presence of his children he was sure to let them know he disapproved of it.  His pastor was a welcomed visitor in his home.  He was neighborly and hospitable to all.  His faith in God was never shaken.  During his latter years he read his Bible and prayed much.  He was ready to go or to suffer as the Lord willed.

He was a steward in the church and served some years as the Superintendent of the Sunday School at Oakwood, Ga.  The Methodist Church there grew out of the school.  He was highly esteemed by all who knew him.

He married Miss Sarah Jane Winburn of Jefferson, Georgia, September 1, 1859.  She was born February 19, 1838, and died January 26, 1883.  She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Winburn.  She was quite a beautiful young woman and a devoted Christian.  One of father’s sisters told me:  “I always will believe your Mother was the the best woman I ever knew.”

–page 10

George Washington Barrett was one of six children of that marriage.

This is how my great-grandfather described himself:

George Washington Barrett, born Sept. 3, 1873.  Joined the church when seven years of age.  Was licensed to preach Nov. 15, 1894.  Entered Young Harris College December 1, 1895, graduating with an A.B. degree, May 22, 1899.  He averaged almost a sermon a month at the college.

In July, 1899, he was appointed supply pastor of the Alpharetta circuit, whose pastor was sick.  In November, 1899, he was admitted on trial by the North Georgia Conference and was ordained deacon also.  He was returned to the Alpharetta charge.  He served as pastor without a break till reaching retirement age.  November, 1945, having preached 6,082 sermons.  He served as Secretary of 25 District Conferences, being pastor-host of three of them; for thirty-five years served somewhere on the Conference staff of secretaries, twenty-one of which he was Conference Secretary and for eighteen years was editor of the Conference Minutes.

On January 17, 1900, he married Miss Nellie Seguin Fox of Atlanta, Ga.  She was the daughter of Dr. James O. and Sarah Thomas Fox.  She was born at Hot Springs, Ark., Sept. 18, 1876.  She graduated in art at Marion, Ala., and taught art two years at Young Harris College.

–pages 12-13

They had six children, including Nell Fox Barrett, who married John Dodson Taylor, Jr., on June 12, 1937.

I moved to Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, in August 2005.  This change in geographical location brought me close to family history, for Gainesville and Oakwood are only about an hour away from my home.  And Winder, where George Washington Barrett served in 1925-1927, is about twenty minutes (depending on traffic) away from my front door.  My explorations of the Barrett side of my family history have turned up interesting details, some of them from the 1978 history of Barrow County, Georgia.  Beadland to Barrow:  A History of Barrow County, Georgia, from the Earliest Times to the Present (Atlanta:  Cherokee Publishing Company, 1978; reprinted, 1983), contains a history of First United Methodist Church (pages 276-280), part of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, when my great-grandfather served as pastor there, and features a photograph of the parsonage where the Barretts, including my grandmother, Nell Fox Barrett Taylor, lived for a year, on page 265.  Unfortunately, the Winder church building in which my great-grandfather preached burned down (probably due to a lightning strike) a few days ago.  (

I wrote that my great-grandfather was an old-style Methodist.  Another piece of supporting evidence for this is the fact that, in 1928, he broke party ranks and voted for Herbert Hoover for President.  The reason was simple:  the Democratic Party had become the first major political party to nominate a Roman Catholic for President of the United States.  Most Americans do not think about Roman Catholicism as a disqualifying factor for the Presidency anymore, for attitudes have changed.  I can think of a number of practicing Roman Catholics have sought the Presidential nomination of either the Democratic or the Republican Party since John F. Kennedy won the highest office in 1960.  But his campaign had to contend with anti-Roman Catholic bias.  In my library I have a pamphlet–a reprinted article, really–by George L. Ford, Executive Director of the National Association of Evangelicals, in 1960.  The title of

A Roman Catholic President:  How Free from Church Control?

speaks for itself.  Each of us is, to a great extent, a product of our formative environment.  I am who I am for a variety of reasons, including my childhood and home life then.  I apply the same principle when trying to understand my great-grandfather, a product of a very different social climate.




Some Germane Posts:


A Church Building is a Haunted Place   1 comment

Alapaha United Methodist Church, Alapaha, Georgia

Easter Sunday, 1991

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor


A church building is a haunted place.

I enter the Alapaha United Methodist Church through the Sunday School wing, walk into the corridor leading to the sanctuary, and gaze through the wood-and-glass door, looking at the altar area.  My ears find themselves filled with the spectral sounds of the past century and two years.

Preaching, congregational singing, and choral singing fill my mind’s ears; these events date to the middle age of the now-defunct Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  These ghostly voices sing and speak to me, calming my soul.  These peaceful voices, however, will come to me only when I am quiet enough to hear my watch tick.  Only when one is quiet does one hear.

When I walk around Alapaha at night, I include in my route a visit to the Alapaha United Methodist Church sanctuary.  My physical form approaches the choir loft, activates the choir lights, and turns back toward the silent rows and empty pews.  The light shines upon the cross and disperses around the altar area.  Standing amidst all this light, I gaze at the dark sanctuary and listen for my spectral friends.  They remember me, for their voices rise to greet my soul.  When I depart the room, I am at peace.

Alapaha United Methodist Church is haunted by benevolent spirits who speak to those who take the time to be quiet and listen.  One who listens to them must return to hear the voices again and again, until one joins them.

A church building is a haunted place.