Services for Rev. Bob Barker Jr. will be held Thursday, at 3 p.m., at Central Baptist Church, with Rev. Greg Massey and Dr. Gary Blair officiating. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.
Mr. Barker, 72, of Meridian, died March 4, 2013, at his home in Meridian. He was born on June 29, 1940, in Mobile, Ala. He was a 1958 graduate of Vigor High School in Mobile. Rev. Barker earned his bachelor of arts degree from Howard College, now known as Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. in 1962, and earned a divinity degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1966.
He was ordained for ministry on June 5, 1960, at the First Baptist Church of Chickasaw, Ala. His ministry began as a high school junior when he pastored a small mission church north of Mobile, Ala. He lived in Birmingham during his college years, preaching at area churches while attending classes and playing college basketball. Throughout his ministry, he pastored churches in Hammond, La.; Denham Springs, La.; Mobile, Ala.; Hendersonville, N.C.; and Meridian. He answered the call to full-time evangelism and preached throughout the United States for four years. He was a gifted orator and preacher of the Word, and thousands came to faith throughout his ministerial career. He later served as a minister of music at the Naval Air Station in Meridian. Rev. Barker was an active member of Central Baptist Church in Meridian.
Later in life, he worked as a newspaper carrier for The Meridian Star, where he went the extra mile to meet the needs of his customers. He also helped raise thousands of dollars for the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. He was a lifelong fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide and was alumni initiate of the Theta Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.
Survivors include his wife, of 34 years, Cindy Barker; two sons: Bob Barker III (Tracey) of Birmingham, Ala., and Toby Barker (Kate) of Hattiesburg; four daughters: Leigh Ann Coleman of Frederick, Md., Julia Lance (Alan) of Atlanta, Ga., Melody Mercer (Scott) of Brandon, and Dr. Andi Barker of Jackson; brother, Bruce Barker Sr.; eight grandchildren; and, five nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Bob Barker Sr. of Chickasaw, Ala.; and an infant brother, Thomas Fuller Barker.
Family and friends may sign the online guest book at robertbarhamffh.com.
Memorials may be made to Central Baptist Church (designate to "Eula Gordon Scholarship") or to the Community Foundation of East Mississippi (designate to "Bob Barker Jr. Seminary Scholarship Fund").
Visitation will be Thursday, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., at the church.