Barham, Jr., William Carl


“Blessed is the man whose whole family loves the Lord and will serve Him daily”
W.C. Barham, Sr.
The son of a medical doctor, William Carl Barham, Sr. was born in Patmas, Arkansas, January 21, 1906. His father died when Carl was about 11 years of age. At an early age, Carl went to work in a sawmill helping with the support of his family. He felt the call to the ministry early in life and preached his first sermon at age 16. He yearned to complete his education and to prepare for ordination. He began by enrolling in correspondence classes at age 19. In 1926, how-ever, economics mandated his seeking employment away from his home. He moved to Shreve-port where he worked for The Libby-Owens-Ford Glass Company and later The Life Insurance Company of Virginia. On August 8,1928, he married Annie Marie Barker of Texarkana, Arkan-sas. To that union were born three children; William Carl, Jr., Doris Evelyn, and John Barker.
The Louisiana Conference licensed Carl in 1933 and be began his ministry as a supply pastor at Blanchard. In February 1934, the Bishop appointed him to his first full time charge at Church Point. During his five-year tenure there, the membership built a new parsonage. He drove regularly to Lafayette to attend Southwestern Louisiana Institute and completed three years of undergraduate studies. Also, he gave able guidance to the establishment of the Wesley Foundation on the SLI campus. Following his service at Church Point, he served in succession these charges within the Conference: Wynn Memorial in Shreveport; Grand Cane, Bell City, Merryville charge; Vinton charge; Rayne charge, where he helped organize the Wesley Memo-rial Church in Crowley; Ringgold, where he monitored the construction of a new parsonage; Lis-bon charge, Greenwood; Columbia charge, Cotton Valley; LeCompte charge, Clinton charge, and Baker——the charge from which he retired in 1970.
That year, he and Marie moved to Garland, Texas to be nearer his eldest son and family. In his early retirement years, he served as an evangelistic visitor for the First United Methodist Church of Mesquite, Texas as well as the First United Methodist Church of Dallas at the request of its pastor, Dr. Ben Oliphint. His thoughts, however, were with his friends in the Louisiana Conference and he volunteered for supplemental service. The Bishop recalled him to complete the unexpired term of the Olla pastor and reappointed him for an additional year. Again, he helped with the development of plans to construct the new parsonage at Olla. Illness prohibited his completing that appointment year and he returned to Texas for medical attention.
I received a letter from Carl in 1988. Therein he wrote, “I feel that I can say that most of my preaching was done with an honest effort to comply with the love of God, as revealed by Jesus Christ and as recorded hi the Scriptures, and my love for the people to whom I was appointed to serve.”
Carl was a very conscientious, hard-working, determined and plain-spoken minister. He knew the laws of our church, and they guided his many endeavors. He had a great love for his wife, Marie, and a dedicated appreciation for her contribution to his ministry.
William Carl Barham, Senior, died November 13, 1990. This final act of life entitled him to be commissioned a member in the Church Triumphant where he now serves with his Lord unhindered by the infirmities of age or illness. As Marie said to her children at the moment of death, “He’s now preaching his sermons in heaven!”
Survivors include his wife, Annie Marie Barker Barham, two sons, William Carl, Junior of Dallas, Texas, and John Barker of Forney, Texas, and one daughter, Doris Evelyn B. Luther, of Norfolk, Virginia. There are two surviving brothers, Lester of Hope, Arkansas and Tennis of Center, Texas, and one sister, Mrs. Irene Hall, of Marshall, Texas. Other descendants include five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1991, p. 230 By Don Wineinger

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