ATLANTA – Russell “Russ” Talmadge Barker, director of missions for the Atlanta Baptist Association from 1982 until his retirement in 1999, died Monday.
He was 89.
“We are thankful for the many years of dedicated service that Russ Barker gave for the Atlanta Baptist Association and we honor his legacy,” said Jimmy Baughcum, executive director and lead strategist for the Atlanta Metro Baptist Association.
Barker was born September 17, 1932, in Norcross, Georgia, and passed away in Columbus, Georgia. He grew up in the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home now located in Palmetto, Georgia, attended Mercer University and graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Barker served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and was active duty in the Korean War.
Ordained in 1962, Barker served as pastor of Dover Baptist Church while attending seminary and later Altizer Baptist Church in Huntington, W.Va. He and his wife, Earline, returned to the Atlanta area in 1968 where he served as pastor of Bouldercrest Baptist Church for 14 years before coming director of missions for the Atlanta Baptist Association.
After retiring, Barker served as interim pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and as pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Demorest.
Barker was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Earline Boles Barker.
He is survived by his wife Susan Bowles Barker, three daughters, Sheri Wreen of Snellville, Lisa Ridgway of Melbourne, Florida, and Cathy Swenson of Dawsonville; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
The family will have a private grave-side service due to COVID in Clarkesville on Saturday. The Hillside Memorial Chapel & Gardens Facebook page will livestream the service at the following page: https://www.facebook.com/Hillside-Memorial-Chapel-Gardens-126561350730902/about/?ref=page_internal.
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