Death: Formality

Reverend James Evans Barton. Rev. Barton was born to Harrison and Marjorie Barton on August 18, 1948 in Indianapolis. He grew up in Indianapolis, where he met Pamela Watkins; the two were married on July 6, 1968.

Jim dedicated his life to his country, his church and his community.

Before his ordination into ministry, Jim served one tour of duty in Vietnam in the United States Air Force, taught grade school children at P.S. 73, and was active at Meadlawn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he was youth group leader, elder and chairman of the board.

As a minister he served the Disciples of Christ congregations in Oakwood, IL; Mitchell, IN; and Yorktown, IN.

He established the interdenominational food bank, Lawrence County Interfaith Endeavor, was instrumental in forming discussion groups in Delaware County to address race relations, and resettled numerous refugee families from Vietnam, Iraq, and Bosnia.

After leaving the parish ministry, he taught religious studies at Ball State University, where his quick wit and open heart made him popular with faculty and student body alike.

Despite his litany of good works, Jim never took himself too seriously. He took supreme joy in helping those around him whether they be a student in his class, a parishioner he was counseling, or someone working the check out at the supermarket who had the good fortune to ring him up.

Jim is survived by his wife, Pamela; brothers, Harry (wife, Claudia), Neil (wife, Barbara) and Gary; sister Shelly; children, James (wife, Patricia), Jeffery, and Jaysen; and grandchildren, James and Katherine.

3 replies on “Death: Formality”

This picture, which Mom picked out for the services we held as well, was taken while he was in seminary. It was used in a poster that show a black and white picture of an older, angry man with a long beard and a cane captioned: This is What Ministry Used to Be, then a picture of Dad and two of his fellow seminary students captioned: This is What It Is Now.

So, it that photograph he is a few years younger than I am now. But growing up people always talked about how much we looked alike.

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