Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Goodbye, friend of many, friend of mine

About this time yesterday at lot of folks gathered at the Autry Funeral Home in Jacksonville, Texas to say good-bye to an old friend, Campbell Barnwell Anderson III. Many did not know his first name was Campbell, or that he was the third. (And I guess I only knew because of the genealogist in me.) He was better known as Barnwell, C. B., Elder C. B. Anderson, or Rev. C. B. Anderson. To me he was usually “Brother Anderson,” unless I was addressing a letter to him in which I used “Elder” (which he preferred over “Reverend”). Brother Anderson was someone I knew most of my life – in early life because he was a shape note singer and we attended lots of those singings! I really came to know him, though, as an adult who not only had singing, but also preaching and history in common as well. We would compare notes when able, and he graciously agreed to read and write the Foreword for my book Materials Toward a History of Feet Washing among the Baptists

Brother Anderson was a Christian gentleman, a powerful preacher, a scholar, and a lover & teacher of history (at Jacksonville College). He was a man of gargantuan labour under difficult physical adversity. He was afflicted with polio at the age of four. He attributed this to God’s Providence to make him who he was to be. In 1957 he and his wife left their native land to move some 450-500 miles to attend the BMAA Seminary in Jacksonville – doubtless unknowing that they would spend the rest of their lives there.

Three of his co-labourers – Edwin Crank, David Moore, and Wayne Thomspon – spoke at the service. We sang five of his favorite songs (though he had many more favorites). We began with Amazing Grace and concluded with How Firm a Foundation. In between, we sang We’re Marching to Zion (Robert Lowry), Someone to Meet Me (Marty Phillips), and I Can Hear Them Singing Over There (Albert E. Brumley).

His body was laid to rest in the Resthaven Cemetery, to await its resurrection. One former student wrote on his celebration wall – “While we plod through this world discovering how the cow ate the cabbage, Brother Anderson has shed those braces and is walking freely down the streets of gold.”

Remember his wife, Sister Annabelle Anderson, as she finishes life’s journey without her constant companion of the past 63 years.

A note from his obituary: “Rather than customary condolences, gifts may be made to Texas Southern Gospel School of Music, 305 Trailwood Drive, Crockett, TX 75835; Jacksonville Baptist College 105 B.J. Albritton Drive Jacksonville, Texas 75766; or a charity of your choice.”

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