The Rev. Ronald Jerry Barham

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2008

Services for the Rev. Ronald Jerry Barham, of Collinsville, are1:30 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Poplar Springs Drive United MethodistChurch in Meridian with burial in Meridian Memorial Park Cemetery.The Rev. Bill Lowrey, the Rev. Raford Woodrick, the Rev. BertFelder and the Rev. Rob Gill will officiate. Robert Barham FamilyFuneral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation is Friday from 8:30 until 11:30 a.m. at thechurch.

The Rev. Barham, 65, died July 20, 2008, at Jeff AndersonRegional Medical Center in Meridian of complications after amedical procedure. He was born in Lauderdale County, Ala., on Feb.7, 1943, to Herman and Bertha Barham.

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He graduated from Millsaps College in 1965 and received hisMaster of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School ofTheology. The Rev. Barham was a United Methodist pastor, a planterof trees and other growing things, a lover of birds and bees andall God’s beasts and critters. He was also a teacher, a learner, acivil rights defender, a master cook, a word lover, a nature guide,a fiddler of gadgets and tools, a hunter, a fisher, a carpenter anda storyteller. He was a member of the Mississippi Conference of theUnited Methodist Church and served in many ministerial capacitiesover his 40-year career. He leaves a legacy of love of all life,compassion for marginalized people, humor, curiosity, good food andunconventional ways of teaching and living out the gospel ofChrist. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Preceding him in death were his parents.

He is survived by an innumerable host of friends and family;including his partner of 41 years, Carrol F. Barham, ofCollinsville; his children, Winston K. Barham, of Gordonsville,Va., and Rachel E. Barham and husband, James Rogers, of Washington,D.C.; his three siblings and their spouses, Otha and Lurey Barhamand Robert and Janet Barham, all of Meridian, and Marge and TomSims, of Annandale, Va.; his nieces and nephews, John L. Barham,Kathleen D. Sims, Rob S. Barham and the Rev. Michael P. Barham; anda brother-in-law, Dr. Erwyn Freeman and wife, Linda, ofVaughan.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UMCOR DisasterResponse, c/o David Stotts, P.O. Box 1201, Jackson 39215-1201; TheNature Conservancy (800) 628-6860, or the National Arbor DayFoundation ( The family also invites you to sharestories by e-mailing