Briarwood founder, Dr. Frank Barker, Jr., dies

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 10:19 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Briarwood Presbyterian Church founding pastor, Dr. Frank M. Barker, Jr. has died.

Barker’s death was confirmed on Monday, December 27th.

The Rev. Frank M. Barker, Jr. formed Briarwood in 1960.

Briarwood Presbyterian Church and pastor Rev. Harry Reeder released this statement:

The God of all glory and grace has providentially called home and into His presence Dr. Frank M. Barker, Jr., a choice servant of the Lord as a Gospel Minister on December 27, 2021. Dr. Barker’s faithfulness, humility and visionary leadership will be missed, not only at Briarwood and the Presbyterian Church in America where he was vitally involved as a founding leader, but also in Christ’s Church throughout the world.

Please join us in prayer for Barbara, Franks vivacious and faithful companion in life and ministry as well as for his precious children and their families – daughter Anita and her husband Billy Barnes and their children; daughter Peggy and her husband Tim Townes and their children and grandchildren and their son, Frank Barker III, his wife Pam and their children.

The Briarwood Presbyterian Church family invites you to join us in giving praise to God for Dr. Barker who was not only a leader throughout Christ’s Church and a founding leader of the PCA but was most important of all, he was a Godly husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and a faithful Pastor with a servant’s heart.

Dr. Barker was the founding Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church from its store front beginnings. He was a faithful Pastor, Shepherd, Preacher and Leader for 40 years and then continued to bless Briarwood Church as Pastor Emeritus for the last 23 years. Though rightly noted for his humility he was also a man of great vision, persistent prayer with an unbounding confidence in Christ, his Lord and Savior. In a word, Frank loved the Christ who first loved him and “the love of Christ compelled him.” Therefore, Frank loved all that Christ loved – he loved His Word, he loved His Church, he loved the lost and he loved to live the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission. One of the great evidences of his passionate love to Christ and His church is seen by the significant number of men and women who are now serving Christ and fulfilling the Great Commission throughout the world, including many men who have been called to the Gospel ministry and count Dr. Barker as an always available mentor.

Much more can, should and will be said in the coming days but… all that will be said must be said in the way that Frank would want us to say it is exemplified through the words of Frank’s favorite hymn for Briarwood to sing – “To God be the Glory great things he has done.”

Cindy and I, along with our family join you and the entire Briarwood church family in praising God “from whom all blessings flow” for Dr. Frank Barker, Jr.

“and he gave some… as Pastors and Teachers” Ephesians 4:11

While I rejoice that Frank does not miss us as he stands in the glorious presence of our Savior, we miss him yet rejoice for him who heard from His Savior, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Arrangements are being made by the family and will be announced but will include a Remembrance Service celebrating God’s glorious blessings through Dr. Barker’s life and ministry.

From the church’s website:

SUMMER 1960 Frank M. Barker, Jr., agreed to help the Birmingham Presbytery start a church in Cahaba Heights.

JUNE 5, 1960 First worship service held in the Cahaba Heights Shopping Center.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1960 Briarwood Presbyterian Church officially chartered.

SEPTEMBER 29, 1963 First worship service in Highway 280 facility.

1965 Briarwood Christian School organized.

1966 Briarwood’s first World Missions Conference.

1972 Birmingham Theological Seminary organized.

DECEMBER 4, 1973 First General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America [PCA] held at Briarwood Presbyterian Church.

1977 Construction of Briarwood South (Highway 119).

JANUARY 1988 First Worship Service at I-459/Acton Road location.

OCTOBER 1998 Election of pulpit committee to recommend new Senior Pastor to replace the Rev. Frank M. Barker, Jr., upon retirement.

Still very involved with his church, Barker hosted Bible teaching audio podcasts.


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