Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographiesGenealogy Information

BIOGRAPHY: Rev. J. P. Barton born October 1844

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(1844 – aft. 1896)

Talladega and Colbert County, Alabama

Rev. J. P. Barton, of Talladega, comes of Virginia parentage and was born in Colbert County, Ala., October 1844.

In 1871 he united with the Little Zion Baptist Church in said county and was baptized by Rev. W. E. Northcross, of Tuscumbia. In 1877 he entered the work of the gospel ministry in his native section, doing valuable service within the bounds of the Muscle Shoals Association, especially in line with the Sunday School work. He has led to the organization of two Sunday School Conventions and eight churches and built five houses of worship. His speeches before our State Convention have been largely conducive of the sentiment and system which have given birth to our women’s work and State mission operations.

Chairman of Board of Visitors of the Colored Deaf and Dumb Asylum

He has held official positions in connection with our State Convention and University and is now chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Colored Deaf and Dumb Asylum of Alabama. He is easy in society and pleasing in address. He carries the youth and the masses, and so uses everything at his command as to impress one that he is an excellent general as well as a successful pastor. He is full of movement and plan, and is quick of discernment and clear in expression. He is a lover of science. He obtained his education in the Talladega College. Mr. Barton says that he owes much to his wife, whom the writer would honor as one of our noble women. Mr. Barton is still full of life and growth.

What is sanctification?

Our general work has always found in Brother Barton a ready and generous helper. He deserves credit for his industry and enterprise—in material as well as in church affairs. He relates the following: “In the winter of 1876-77, I chanced for the first time to meet the late Harry Woodsmall in one of his Ministers’ Institutes. He remarked: ‘On to-morrow, we will discuss the subject of sanctification; and here is a little book worth only 15 cents which will be of service to you.’ I said to myself: ‘What is sanctification ‘?’ I never heard of such a thing before. I bought the book from Brother Woodsmall, and, coming upon my subject, I read till late at night, in order that I might be in line with things next day. When the hour came I was up on the subject of sanctification, much to the pleasure of the teacher.”

Mr. Barton is ever ready to contend for his views, but is remarkably free from bitterness in discussion, is hardly ever wrong in his opinion on things, and is a remarkably winning preacher with the masses. Mr. Barton is now president of our State Convention.


Excerpt from The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama – Their Leaders and Their Work copyright 1896

The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama: Their Leaders and Their Work (Paperback)

Possibly someone may desire at some time and for some reason to know something of the author of this book, and therefore he submits the following short statement: LINEAGE AND NATIVITY.–His great-grandmother was born on the west coast of Africa and was brought a slave to Virginia, where his grandmother was born. Ere his grandmother had reached her maturity of womanhood, she was sold into Georgia, where his mother was born. While his mother was still a child, she and her mother were carried to Mobile county, Ala., by a Mr. Nathan Howard. In this county, on a lonely looking sand hill amid pine forests, on June 13, 1845, the writer made his advent into this world. (In this year, 1845, the Baptists of America divided.) EARLY RECOLLECTIONS.–Stored away in my earliest memories I find: (1) The songs and family prayers of my step-grandfather, a pure African, who had not only learned to read his Bible and hymn book, but had also learned the rudiments of vocal music, sufficiently well to teach the art of singing. (2) The tender and constant attention of an old white lady (the only white person on the place), who took my hand as she went out to look after the nests of the domestic fowls and to gather a dish of ripe fruit. (3) A Baptist church in the forest, where white and colored people sat together to commune and to wash each other’s feet. (4) The saintly face and pure life of my grandmother, to whom white and black went for prayer and for comfort in the times of their sorrows. (5) A tin-plate containing the alphabet, from which at the age of 3 years, I learned the English letters. (6) The death of the old white lady, and the severing from dear grandmother and the old home. (7) My introduction at the age of 6 years to the family of Nathan Howard, Jr., where things were not altogether as tender toward me as at the old home, and where I came more into associations with books and with life’s sterner facts. The teachers who boarded here at my new home became my instructors, and so I was soon reading and writing fairly well. Here, listening to the reading of the Bible, I was drawn toward it, and began to read it for myself. The gospel story bound me to it with cords which nothing has been able to break. At the close of my eighth year I began to seek the Lord by prayer and supplication, and have, from that time to this, continued my secret devotions and strivings after truth. My association with Col. James S. Terrel, the brother of Judge S. H. Terrel, of Clark county, Miss., at the age of 14, as office boy in his law office, gave me a still broader range of books. I think I can say that the Colonel and I really loved each other.

By (author):  Charles Octavius Boothe

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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