Bishop Calvin Barlow, Jr. 31 years and counting

(l-r) Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and Elder Emma Dee Harlan. (photo by D. Culp)

(l-r) Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and Elder Emma Dee Harlan. (photo by D. Culp)

It was a remarkable time in South Nashville that will be remembered for some time to come. Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and his lovely wife Rutha L. Barlow, celebrated 31 years in the ministry, with 3 separate services. He is the Sr. Pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church, in South Nashville. On Saturday October 21st the planning committee held a gospel concert which sang praises for anyone in listening space. On Sunday October 22nd two services were held at the church. One at 9:30 AM and the other at 3:00 PM (CDT)

Bishop Barlow Jr. Son, Minister Calvin C. Barlow, III delivered a most powerful sermon and ministered in song shortly afterwards. His church home is Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.

An equally powerful evening service followed after a sumptuous homemade, full course meal in SMBC’s Fellowship Hall. Before and after the services, the church Fellowship Hall held its own with a myriad of unique and one of kind decorations. The color scheme was red and black, with cut glass simulated crystal adornments. Pastor Ray Lee Jackson of the Beech Grove Baptist Church in Eaglesville, TN.

Sister Joyce Helms, Lanese Campbell, Minister Shawn Holmes, Lindsay Helms, the kitchen crew, media ministry, musicians and every other ministry department worked tireless together to make it happen.

The overall theme: “A Man Who Labors After God’s Heart” only touched the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to describing his years of unconditional love for God and his people. Of course he didn’t get there by himself, so the same can be said for First Lady Barlow and the first family of SMBC.

The 9:30 AM (CDT) service kicked off with the congregation respectfully standing until the honorees were seated. Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and First Lady Rutha L. Barlow were escorted into the sanctuary by Sister Christanie Tyus and Brother Devon Holmes. It began with a call to worship from Minister Shawn Holmes, a welcome from Deacon Cedric Whitaker, Praise and Worship from the SMBC Mass Choir, followed by the reading of the Vision Statement by Elder Emma Dee Harlan and prayer for worship by Minister Shawn Holmes. The SMBC Praise Team joyously sang praise of worship and the call for tithes and offerings was presented.

The speaker was introduced and another selection was rendered from the SMBC Praise Team. A magnificent, timely Word was laid down by Minister Calvin Barlow, III, after he was introduced by his brother and church musician, John Barlow. After the sermon, Minister Shawn Holmes offered the Invention to Christmas Discipleship. An invitational selection from the SMBC Praise Team filled the beautiful sanctuary with the Holy Spirit and afterwards, guest speaker, Minister Calvin C. Barlow, III provided the Benediction.

The 3:00 PM (CDT) service proved to be just as powerful and filled with the Holy Spirits the morning service. The honorees; Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and Mrs. Rutha L. Barlow were escorted in by Brother John and Sister Shareka Barlow. Elder Emma Dee Harlan asked for the Call to Worship, the Beech Grove Baptist Church Choir rendered impacting Praise and Worship. The Deacons oversaw Devotion, Minister Shawn Holms read the selected scripture and Minister Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. lead the congregation in prayer.

Beech Grove Baptist Church sang a beautiful Hymn of Praise and a hearty welcome was given by Sister Brittany Wilkerson. Beech Grove Baptist Church responded and afterwards the worship through giving was combined with a Deacon handling the offertory prayer. Deacon Jeff Tyus introduced the evening service speaker, more Hymns of praise from Beecch Grove Baptist Church. Pastor Ray Lee Jackson successfully laid out the Proclamation of the Word and the Invitation to Christian Discipleship. Beech Grove Baptist Church sang the Invitational Selection and various remarks and presentation of gifts came from both, SMBC Church Family and guest.

First Lady Rutha L. Barlow rendered some loving remarks and Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. gave the Benediction. SMBC First Lady was escorted out of the sanctuary by; Lady Rita Jackson and Bishop Barlow, Jr. were escorted out by Pastor Ray Lee Jackson and the SMBC ministerial staff. Another well rounded, tasty meal was provided for the second service congregation and guests. It was a two day celebration that merely touched on his 31 years of service in the ministry.

“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine”, Timothy 5:17 KV. A captivating and well fitted scripture for this time period and beyond.