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Rev. William  Emanuel Barrett

Memorial for Rev. William Emanuel Barrett

Born in Quinque, Virginia on Sep. 16, 1925
Departed on Dec. 16, 2010 and resided in North Brunswick, NJ.
Visitation: Monday, Dec. 20, 2010
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Service: Monday, Dec. 20, 2010
11:00 am
Cemetery: Evergreen Cemetery
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.


Reverend William Emanuel Barrett was born on September 16, 1925 in Quinque, Virginia. He was the eighth of thirteen children born to Rev. Stephen Emanuel Barrett and Ethel Moten Barrett.

As a child Rev. Barrett accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and soon thereafter, as a young man, he responded to the call of ministry.

Rev. Barrett attended public school in Green County, VA. A World War II Veteran, he served as the Chaplainís assistant.

He was honorably discharged from the United States Army. He attended college on the GI Bill. He received his undergraduate degree and Masterís of Divinity from Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA. There he met and married the love of his life, Loretta Katherine Williams of Milford, Connecticut, an elementary school teacher. On December 28, they would have celebrated fifty-nine years of marriage. To their union two children were born, William Emmanuel Barrett, Jr. and Katherine Denise Barrett (Carter).

A pastor for more than fifty years Rev. Barrett began his Christian service in Virginia. Rev. Barrett was ordained in the Shiloh Baptist Church of Standardsville, VA, by his father. During his years at Virginia Union as an undergraduate and a seminary student he was called to the following one Sunday per month churches: Antioch and Pilgrim of Culpeper, VA; Oak Grove and Oak Park of Madison County, VA and Ebenezer of Beaverdam in Hanover County, VA. After graduating from seminary, Rev. Barrett was called to his first full-time pastorate at Mt. Zion Church of Staunton, VA. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Barrett decided to leave the Baptist Church and join the Lutheran Church. From 1960-1965, he served as assistant pastor of Tabernacle Lutheran Church, one of the first Lutheran churches in Philadelphia to minister to African Americans. Later, he was called to be the pastor of St. Jacobus Lutheran Church also in Philadelphia.

A year before Rev. Barrettís arrival, the church had conducted services in German and English. His selection as pastor was chronicled in the November 11, 1965 issue of Jet Magazine.

In 1971, he decided to return to his Baptist roots when he was called to be the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in New Brunswick. During the 1980ís and 1990ís, he served as a Chaplain at Rahway State Prison. During that same period, he was pastor of First Baptist Church in South Bound Brook for nearly twenty years before retiring in 1996.

Rev. Barrett believed that his ministry required him to be involved in social justice. He and his wife attended the historic March on Washington. He was active in the Progressive Baptist Convention. While living in Philadelphia he ran for Congress. Perhaps his proudest accomplishment was the establishment of the Reconciliation Church of Christ behind the bars of Rahway State Prison. He believed that incarcerated men were worthy of redemption and he worked tirelessly to convince them that they could repent and be reconciled with God.

More than anything Rev. Barrett loved people. He saw the God in every living soul. After retirement from the pastorate, Rev. Barrett and his wife moved to Farmville, NC where they were united with Cornerstone Baptist Church. Declining health caused Rev. Barrett to return to New Jersey, where he and his wife moved to North Brunswick to be near their daughter. Since April 2010 he has been at the Regency Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Somerset, NJ.

On Thursday, December 16, 2010, he was called to his eternal rest.

Rev. Barrett was predeceased by his parents, Rev. Stephen Emanuel Barrett and Ethel Moten Barrett, brothers, James, Raymond and Paul, sisters, Pearl Hill, Elizabeth Stover, Martha Hill, Ethel Smith, Mary Alice Preston Busby and son, William Emmanuel Barrett, Jr.

He leaves to cherish his memory and to preserve his legacy: his devoted wife, Loretta; daughter, Katherine Carter; one son-in-law, Bruce Carter; two grandsons, Jason Carter and Aaron Carter all of North Brunswick; two brothers, Sterling and Lawrence (Gisele) all of Detroit, Michigan; two sisters, Helen Hill of Missouri City, Texas and Dollie Lee of Southfield, Michigan; one sister-in-law, Jean Williams Shelton of Milford, Connecticut; and many beloved nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

This Online Memorial has been created to commemorate the life of Rev. William Emanuel Barrett. You are invited to add a Tribute in his memory. Please click "Sign Guestbook" below to add your own memories, reflections, thoughts or condolences.

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