LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Charles Barnes, a life-long Kentucky Baptist who has been involved in the organization’s top levels of leadership for decades, has received the CP Leadership Award from the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
"Charles Barnes may be the strongest lay advocate for the cooperative mission work of Kentucky Baptists I've ever met,” said Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood, who presented the award at the KBC’s annual meeting in Louisville on Tuesday. “As a past president of the KBC, a board member of KBC and SBC entities, and a very committed churchman, Dr. Barnes has given generously of his time and resources to serve the Lord and be a part of all God is doing through the Cooperative Program. God has used Dr. Barnes to bless my life and work. I appreciate him more than words could say and celebrate his recognition as a CP leader in Kentucky."
Barnes, a graduate of Oneida Baptist Institute, has deep family roots in Kentucky Baptist life. His father, John Barnes, was a Baptist preacher, as was his grandfather, E.W. Barnes.
Throughout his adult life, Barnes , a member of Hurstbourne Baptist Church in Louisville, has been involved in leadership roles within the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He was president in 1998 and 1999. He has served multiple terms on the Mission Board, including as chairman of the Administrative Committee and the Business and Finance Committee.
Barnes is a past president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation and also has served as its interim chief executive. In all, he has served on the foundation’s board of directors for more than 20 years, and has been its chairman several times.
For 16 years, Barnes was a trustee of Cumberland College, now the University of the Cumberlands. For one term, he served as chairman, and he remains an honorary trustee. He received an honorary doctorate there in 1988.
Also in Christian higher education, Barnes served as director of the Southern Seminary Foundation from 1988 through 2015, including two terms as chairman. He was a trustee of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1992 through 2005 and chairman of its Financial Board from 1993 through 2005.
After graduating from Oneida, Barnes went to what’s now the University of Cumberlands. At the time, it was a two-year college. He then went to the University of Louisville where he earned his bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s of business administration degrees. Late, he graduated from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Banking.
Barnes spent his work career with First National Bank of Louisville and the First National Corp. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville School of Business from 1964 through 1975.
“He is an astute business man with a strong Christian calling that has benefitted KBC in many ways,” said Lowell Ashby, KBC’s business manager. “He understands the important role of ‘money in ministry and missions’ and the remarkable structure of the Cooperative Program funding methodology supporting Baptist work around the world. I have always admired his dedication in making his gifts of time, talents and treasure available for Kingdom work. He epitomizes the sharing nature of the Cooperative Program partnerships in place throughout the Southern Baptist Convention and especially in Kentucky.”