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Lemuel Call Barnes
By Terry Wolever

      Lemuel Call Barnes was born at Kirkland, Ohio on November 6, 1854. He was licensed to preach on January 8, 1870 at Kalamazoo, Michigan. After earning his B.A. at Kalamazoo College in 1875, he was ordained on June 30, 1878 and went on to study at Newton Theological Seminary in Massachusetts and Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree in 1896. Barnes’ pastorates included the Baptist church at Greenville, N. H. 1878, First Baptist Church, St. Paul, Minnesota 1878-1882, Fourth Avenue Baptist Church, Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania 1882-1887, First Baptist Church, Worcester, Massachusetts 1902-1907, when he retired from pastoral ministry and removed with his wife Mary to Yonkers, New York. From 1907-1917 he was Field Secretary for the American Baptist Home Mission Society and was a member (since 1879) of the board of managers for the American Baptist Missionary Union and former director of the Northern Baptist Education Society.

      His last place of service to the American Baptist Home Mission Society was as secretary of the Department of English-speaking Missions and Indian Work, 1917-1924. In addition Barnes drafted the constitution of the General Convention of Baptists of North America organized at St. Louis on May 17, 1905 and authored a number of significant historical articles and books on a wide variety of Christian-related subjects; including Two Thousand Years of Missions. He passed away at his home in Yonkers on July 18, 1938. It was while pastoring the First Baptist Church, Newton, Massachusetts that he began collecting affidavits from the older members of the Gano family on the baptism of George Washington. His resulting paper, “The John Gano Evidence of George Washington’s Religion,” was presented on the occasion of the dedication of the John Gano Memorial Chapel at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and published in the Bulletin of William Jewell College in September 1926. It has since become the standard work on the evidence supporting the claim that John Gano baptized General George Washington at some point during the Revolutionary War.


[From Terry Wolever, The Life of John Gano 1727-1804, 2012, p. 450. Used with permission. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

"Was General Washington Baptized by Chaplain John Gano?" By Lemuel Call Barnes, The Religious Herald, 1933.

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