The Reverend Robert Christopher Barrett was born on Dec. 15, 1973, to the Reverend Doctor Charles David Barrett and Mrs. Sally Cross Barrett of Spartanburg, S.C. A recent resident of New Palestine, Reverend Barrett, whom most of his parishioners lovingly knew as “Pastor Chris,” lived most of his life in his native South Carolina, where he attended Boiling Springs High School and Wofford College. He received his Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School, where he met his wife, Elise Erikson Barrett, and afterward served as United Methodist pastor to churches in Blacksburg, Manning, Charleston, and Spartanburg, S.C.
While at Wofford, Reverend Barrett was named the Presidential Scholar, an honor conferred to the student deemed Most Likely to Benefit Humankind. He used the opportunity to travel to fourteen countries to study the role of the church in the developing world. His passion for the church led him to serve creatively and faithfully in individual congregations, in the South Carolina United Methodist Conference, and in numerous international mission projects. His most treasured mission work occurred in Peru, where he traveled frequently to support the work of a local seminary. Reverend Barrett was a fourth generation United Methodist minister, and he enriched the lives of many with his warm pastoral caring. During his nearly four-year battle with lymphoma, he inspired hundreds of people by writing of his experience and sharing the lessons of faith that arose from his illness.
During his 42 years, Reverend Barrett traveled to 38 countries and as many states. No matter where he was, he distinguished himself for his infectious laugh and joyful service to others. He was a devoted husband to his wife, Elise, of New Palestine and a loving father to his three children, Emma Ruth, Margaret Elisabeth and Robert Erikson Barrett. He is survived by his parents, Charles David Barrett and Sally Cross Barrett of Spartanburg, S.C.; his mother- and father-in-law, Meg and Paul Niehaus; and his sister, Sandra Barrett Moore of Lexington, S.C.; brothers-in-law, Thomas George Moore, Jr., James Erikson, and John Niehaus; and sisters-in-law, Ashley Erikson and Taryn Niehaus. He will be dearly missed by his loved ones and friends, for he was a gift to all who knew him.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Chris Barrett Fund for Community Justice/Wofford College/Office of Advancement/429 North Church Street/Spartanburg, SC 29303.
Friends called 4-7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Union United Methodist Church, Irmo, S.C. Memorial Service was held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016,at the Church.
A secondary visitation and worship service will be held Saturday, March 5, 2016, at Cross of Grace Lutheran Church, New Palestine, Indiana. Friends may call 9-11 a.m.at the church with Worship Service following at 11 a.m.
Please share your memories of Chris or offer a message of condolence at www.stillingerfamily.com.