July 4, 2003 by

Carroll Barbour

2 comments

Categories: Extraordinary People

Rev. Carroll Barbour didn’t care if a person was gay or straight, black or white, sick or ill. If they needed guidance, his church was there to help.
In 1965, Barbour was assigned to a church in Georgia. When he welcomed a group of black college students into his all-white congregation, he was attacked by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
“They hit me and beat me to a pulp, then shoved me under a car. But I had to show them they couldn’t silence me. So the next day, I drank three jiggers of bourbon and went to church like nothing happened,” Barbour once told The LA Times.
Barbour became rector of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Hollywood in 1986. Unlike his predecessors, Barbour welcomed those who were sick with HIV and AIDS, a move that angered longtime parish members who vowed to have him removed. They failed, and his pews filled with new followers.
Barbour visited hundreds of sick parishioners every month. He established support groups for patients and their families. He persuaded members of his church to pack up to 200 lunches a week for AIDS and HIV patients at the local hospital. And when his parishioners with the disease died, he presided over their funerals and buried their ashes in an AIDS chapel. In 1991, his oldest son, John, died of AIDS.
Barbour died Tuesday from complications of a pulmonary disorder. He was 72.

2 Responses to Carroll Barbour

  1. Penny Kipp

    42 years ago, Fr. Barbour married us after one evening of “unique” marital counseling. It was an “emergency” wedding, no congregation except his lovely wife and their two little boys in their pajamas in the back pew. Barbour literally “tied the knot”, and we have stayed married to this day. Our sympathy to his family; he was a very special man.

  2. Philip Barbour

    I came to this blog to see if anyone would say anything negative about my Dad.Happy to say he still is in all of our heart , but it was a differant kind of warmth one that is still with me today.

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