Rev. R. S. Barker and Family Leave Hampton
For The North Country With "Every Good Wish"
The Hamptons Union, Thursday, November 15, 1928
Volume XXX, Number 45
At the Methodist Episcopal Church, Hampton, last Thursday evening Mrs. Robert S. Barker laughingly remarked that she was at the church for some reason unknown to herself, as she had heard that there was to be a reception for her husband, Rev. Robert S. Barker, but had heard no mention of her own name. However, after the parish had presented her with a Bulova wrist watch; the WCTU with a silver pin emblem of its organization; the Mothers' Circle with a gold piece, and the handshakes of every Tom, Dick and Harry, Harriet and Henrietta had been pressed upon her surprised self, she became aware that it was the whole Barker family the community was sorry to see leaving town. For, Dorothy, too, was presented with a remembrance. The pastor's portion was a Hamilton wrist watch and a present in cash.
The reception developed within a week. It was, perhaps, three weeks ago that the Church released Mr. Barker to take up a new charge at Colebrook, N.H. after six years and a half of service in Hampton; but district superintendents and heads of mission boards changed everyone's mind two or three times. So, it was Sunday, November 4, when the pastor warned his congregation he would not preach before them again in his present capacity.
Immediately a committee from the church began to function. At the same time one of the minister's neighbors got to work seeing townspeople. Yet, so popular was the pastor that it was impossible to see all of his friends in such a short space of time. Indeed, he was a friend of the entire community. After his gift had been bought, persons who were just beginning to hear that Mr. Barker was leaving demanded a part in a remembrance to him. His present in cash was, therefore, as large as the spirit behind it.
A short program was held before the reception and refreshments were served afterward. Each of the other three ministers expressed his hope for and faith in Mr. Barker's future in the north country. Mr. Barker responded.
During his pastorate in Hampton, Mr. Barker has been an outstanding figure in its community life. He was a strong fighter for the Hampton Beach church, and it is largely because of his practicable labours in this particular that the Community Church now stands. He is a member of the Free Masons, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and of the Grange. In this latter fraternity he had been a booster for the new hall in town and was one of a committee to start actual work upon it. Mr. Barker was absolutely fearless in a determination to see clean politics in Hampton, and throughout the state and nation.
In his church here the retiring pastor worked hard. He increased the physical property value of the Church as well as its spiritual side, and when he left, the parish was in a condition for service such as it has never been before.
During his stay here a vested choir was organized and a new $6,000 pipe organ was presented to the Church. The Ladies' Aid and other similar societies increased their member ship and capacity for effectiveness. It is to be doubted if the local Church would have allowed Mr. Barker to go north had he not been presented a larger opportunity there.
Rev. William Magwood of Hudson, N.H. occupied the pulpit Sunday and will become the regular pastor. His opening sermon impressed the parish very favorably and led the people to believe that he is, like his predecessor, a humble, sincere man with a sense of quiet humour; that his religion is a doctrine of sympathy, love and understanding of the ordinary, everyday man one meets in the life of a town like this even the religion of Jesus Christ.