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Barnette, Henlee H(ulix) 1911-2004

BARNETTE, Henlee H(ulix) 1911-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born August 14, 1911, in Taylorsville, NC; died October 20, 2004, in Louisville, KY. Minister, activist, educator, and author. Barnette was a Baptist minister and professor of ethics who was a prominent liberal activist. Born to a poor North Carolina family living in a log cabin, he had to work in a textile mill as a teenager to help support his family. For that reason, he was not able to go back to school and earn a high school diploma until he was twenty-five years old. Ordained a Baptist minister in 1935, he completed his B.A. degree in 1940 at Wake Forest University. Barnette went on to graduate study at Southern Baptist Seminary, where he earned his Th.M. in 1943, a Th.D. in 1948, and a Ph.D. in 1975. It was while studying there that he was inspired to help the needy after listening to Clarence Jordan give a sermon. He worked in Louisville, Kentucky, slums, where he became known as "the Bishop of the Haymarket," helping the poor, converting people to Christianity, and becoming a civil rights activist. His academic career began at Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, Alabama, where he taught sociology from 1946 to 1947. From 1947 until 1951 he was professor of sociology at Stetson University in De Land, Florida, then returned to Southern Baptist Seminary to teach as a professor of Christian ethics until 1977. During the 1960s and 1970s Barnette gained a reputation as an activist, protesting the Vietnam War, participating in civil rights marches, and organizing an interracial ministers' group. Barnette's activism extended to areas besides the fight against racism and war, including environmentalism and medical ethics. From 1977 until 1992 he was a part-time clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Louisville, where he taught courses in medical ethics and continued to promote his belief that Christians should become more involved in protecting the Earth's ecosystems. He was the author of several books concerning Christian ethics, including Introducing Christian Ethics (1961), The New Theology and Morality (1967), The Church and the Ecological Crisis (1972), and Your Freedom to Be Whole (1984).



Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), October 22, 2004.

Kentucky Post (Covington, KY), October 22, 2004, p. A10.


Southern Baptist Convention Baptist Press News, (October 22, 2004).

Courier-Journal, (October 22, 2004).

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