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Remembering JC Professor C. Barnwell Anderson

C. Barnwell Anderson, long-time BMA pastor and retired professor of history and government at Jacksonville College, passed away on May 10, 2019 at the age of eighty-six. He would have been surprised to see the crowd at his funeral service since he had retired from teaching almost twenty years ago. However, those who knew Bro. Anderson could never forget the impact he made on their lives and on the lives of countless others.

A preacher for sixty-three years and a pastor for fifty of those years, Bro. Anderson was brave in his proclamation of the gospel, and he was always ready to defend his faith. He had a brilliant mind and a humble spirit.

Bro. Anderson was a strict teacher, but he was compassionate. He loved his students, and they loved him. He was known as an encourager, and many students considered him their mentor. He lived a life of service, and he always gave more than he received.

Bro. Anderson taught at Jacksonville College for thirty-five years, and his wife, Annabelle, served as the College’s librarian for thirty-eight years. The Andersons were actively involved in the lives of many JC students, and they shared a special love for international students.

Barnwell and Annabelle Anderson

David Heflin considered himself an international student when he first enrolled in the College in 1971 because he had grown up in Costa Rica as a BMA missionary kid and his first language at the time was Spanish. He would have had a much more difficult college experience without the kindness of Bro. Anderson. He explained, “I left my home and my family in Central America to come to Jacksonville College, and Bro. Anderson was the mentor I needed at the College. He was a wonderful example of a Christian man, and he always had a positive attitude. He encouraged me, and his influence gave me confidence in my studies and in my life. He made history come alive for me, and he was the teacher I wanted to become one day.” Dr. Heflin now serves as Spanish professor and director of public relations at Jacksonville College, and he gives much credit to Bro. Anderson for his love of teaching and his love of Jacksonville College.

The 1998 Jacksonville College Guiding Light Yearbook was dedicated to the Andersons as they entered retirement. On the first page of the yearbook, Dr. Edwin Crank, then president of the College, wrote, “Barnwell and Annabelle Anderson are two of the finest people God ever gave the world. Their bright outlook on life is contagious. They fill everyone around them with joy. They are some of God’s finest and choicest people. . . . Their presence will be missed, but their influence will remain for an eternity.”

Barnwell Anderson touched countless lives, and those who had the privilege of knowing him were not at all surprised by the large number in attendance at his funeral service. His was a life well lived, and his legacy will live on because he invested so much in the lives of others.

Bro. Anderson’s loving spirit came from a deep and abiding love for his Savior, and he is now free of crutches and free to enjoy being in the glorious presence of his Lord.

If you would like to make a contribution to Jacksonville College in memory of Bro. Anderson, please send your gift to Jacksonville College, 105 B.J. Albritton Drive, Jacksonville, TX 75766.

Former students of Barnwell Anderson gathered at a local restaurant after the funeral service to share favorite memories of their much-loved professor.

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