Barker, John Edward (1907-1962)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN EDWARD BARKER: born in Derbyshire in 1907, fulfilled a ministry that had the marks of rare devotion and dedicated ability. After a teaching career he responded to an unmistakable call to the Primitive Methodist Ministry. Trained at Hartley College, he was called out to fill a vacancy in the Blyth Circuit as a probationer on the sudden passing of its Superintendent. He made a lasting impression and later returned to the same area for two more terms of service. His shining gifts and graces left behind a fragrant and inspiring legacy in Edinburgh, Wishaw, Oldham, Cadishead, Blyth and Seaton Delaval, Newcastle, Morpeth and Bedlington, and failing health terminated his promising ministry at Worksop. 

Virile in physical build, he had strength of mind as well as forcefulness of character and soul. While attentive to all pastoral and administrative tasks, he shone as a preacher. His kind and compassionate nature won many friendships, and a natural reserve became a winsomeness that gave charm to his personality. His messages revealed wide reading and a love of literature. He extended the influence of his spoken word by writing articles and a book of sermons. His teaching ability was revealed in his training of young local preachers, several of whom are now in our ministry. For seven years he was Candidates’ Secretary in the Newcastle District, and his facility in guiding and encouraging young people was most evident. Ill-health compelled his retirement unexpectedly after only twenty-eight years in the active work, but his passion to preach and offer Christ to men found expression in a brief term as active supernumerary at Blairgowrie. His brave spirit won through in his affliction and characteristically the title of the last sermon he preached was: “Climbing the rainbow through the rain.” He adorned the Methodist ministry as a choice and noble spirit. Friends in the north-country, ministerial and lay, salute his memory with gratitude to God for a trusty friend, a consecrated prophet-teacher, and a gifted servant of his Lord. Souls have been won, youth wisely guided, the Gospel effectively proclaimed, and light brought tenderly to those reaching eventide. He died on 21 August 1962, in the fifty-fifth year of his age and the thirtieth year of his ministry.


John was born on 10 August 1907 at Derby, Derbyshire, to parents John Edward, a potter, and Lucy. He was baptised on 18 December 1907 at St. Thomas, Derby.

He married Ivy Muriel Lane (abt1909-1966) in the summer of 1936 in the Shardlow Registration District, Derbyshire.

John died on 21 August 1962 at Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland


  • Hartley
  • 1931 Blyth
  • 1933 Edinburgh
  • 1936 Wishaw
  • 1938 Oldham Wesley
  • 1941 Cadishead
  • 1944 Blyth &c
  • 1949 Newcastle NW
  • 1954 Morpeth &c


Methodist Minutes 1963/179

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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