Ronald Barrett was a longtime pastor in and around Colquitt County.
I recently learned of the death of longtime Pastor Ronald Barrett, and wanted to share an experience I had with him early in my ministry.
I was serving my first pastorate in Colquitt County and had a concern about the way my church did business meetings. We would get a motion, discuss it, then get a second and vote. I tried to explain to a deacon that we needed to get a second before we discussed the matter, but he responded, “We cain’t second it ’til we know if we’re fer it or agin’ it!”
Fresh out of seminary, I wanted to fix this. So, I shared my problem with Bro. Ronald at our next Monthly Ministers’ Meeting. Bro. Ronald replied: “Let me ask you three questions. First, are all things being done ‘decently and in order’?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Second, is everybody who deserves to speak getting the chance to do so?”
“Yes,” I replied, again.
“Third, does the final decision represent the will of the church?”
“Yes,” I admitted.
“Then, son, you ain’t got a problem. You just got a different way of doing things!”
Neither of us were in danger of being elected GBC parliamentarians, but his wise counsel saved a young preacher from fighting a battle over an issue that didn’t need to be fought over. I was always grateful to Bro. Ronald for his insight and concern for a new pastor, and I hope other experienced pastors will be as willing to share advice when younger pastors ask them for help.
With enduring appreciation,
Ray Coleman, associational missionary
Smyrna Baptist Association