Newnan, GA—On January 10, Newnan Presbyterian Church honored the Rev. Dr. Harry H. Barrow after more than 30 years of service as pastor. The church had hosted a big celebration marking 30 years in the summer of 2014, but now they wanted to recognize him in a special way for his retirement. So a reception was hosted following Dr. Barrow’s final worship service as pastor for the church.
“Harry asked us not to do anything big,” said Kitty Lambert, a member of the church’s planning team. “I was trying to come up with something unique, and thought of giving a scholarship in his name for students at Columbia Theological Seminary because of his close ties there.”
Lambert worked with fellow team members: Hasco Craver, Brad Crosby, and Shirley Lukens. They reached out to long-time church member Kim Wise for advice on fundraising for the scholarship. “She has many community connections, and I knew this effort would reach beyond our church,” said Lambert. “After meeting with staff from Columbia Seminary, we set a goal of $50,000 to establish the Dr. Harry H. Barrow Legacy Scholarship.”
Dr. Barrow’s ministry is credited with touching numerous lives over the years, and he was instrumental in establishing various outreach programs in the community. Donations came from many directions all over the area—and even other states—all representing people thankful for Harry Barrow’s impact on their lives.
Just days before the special service, the goal was reached. “Somehow, we were able to keep the scholarship a surprise,” said Lambert.
The celebration reception began with prayer and opening remarks by Dr. Lamar Potts, who was raised in Newnan Presbyterian Church and recently retired as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Orangeburg, SC. Barrow and Potts have been friends since their seminary days. Dr. Potts was present at Barrow’s installation in 1984.
Arnie Hulteen, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement from Columbia Seminary made the big announcement with an estimated 400 guests in attendance. The Rev. Randy Calvo, director of Alumni/ae and Church Relations from Columbia Seminary and a close personal friend of Barrow, followed up the presentation with a closing prayer.
Among the special gifts presented to Dr. Barrow was a painting of the Newnan Presbyterian Church given by the Presbyterian Women and a book of memories written by church members and compiled by Mrs. Jan Bowyer representing Barrow’s 30 years of service. Afterwards, he enjoyed time with the many well-wishers who came to show their thanks and support.
Columbia Theological Seminary is committed to “educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers seven graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through the Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information about Columbia Theological Seminary, please visit www.ctsnet.edu.