BARDEN, William Henry 1872 - 1949
Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1950, page 123
Born in 1872. After serving his home circuit as a local preacher, he was called to the Wesleyan Methodist Ministry, and received his training at Richmond College. He began his ministry at Bury St. Edmunds in 1898. His happiest years of service were spent in the Exeter District, when he was stationed at Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, and Tiverton.
These last two circuits were very wide and the churches far apart. This entailed much travelling on foot or by cycle. A very bad winter brought on arthritis, and this became so severe as to make his active service impossible.
He retired in 1927 after only twenty-nine years of active ministry. He went to live at Topsham in the Exeter Circuit, where he was keenly interested in the local church. He preached occasionally on the Sunday, was a Class- leader, and led the weekly devotional meeting.
He was convinced of two things —that God had called him to be a Methodist minister, and that the Gospel he declared was real and eternally true. These two certainties always inspired him in his daily living and work. Every task which confronted him, every service he conducted, was a part of God’s will for him, and he expected some good to come of it.
He won the regard and affection of his people by his faithfulness to duty, his sincere sad earnest preaching of the Word, and to the brotherly spirit which he showed to all in need. All who saw him in his last painful, trying years were moved by his patience in suffering his thought for others, his implicit trust in the goodness and love of God, and his confidence in the ultimate triumph of His purpose.
During the last ten years of his life he very rarely left his bedroom, sometimes spending whole weeks in pain.
The loss of his devoted wife in 1948 was a blow from which he never recovered, and on 30th August 1949 he quietly and trustfully passed into the Homeland, at the age of seventy-seven, in the fifty-first year of his ministry.
©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1950