(This post was previously featured in Jan 2012 in The Southern Coterie newsletter)
Bill Barrow is a busy, well-traveled and educated man. He grew up in Atlanta and then headed to Erskine College in South Carolina. While there, he played soccer and received a degree in Business Administration. This was followed by four years spent in the Army and four years as a Quartermaster officer during which he was stationed in Germany and played on the Army soccer team. Bill also has a Masters of Education in Human Resources from Boston University, a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Ministry from West Coast Seminary. Currently, he serves as an Army Chaplain in the Georgia National Guard and he has been working with the Sea Island Company (www.seaisland.com) for over 23 years where he is primarily responsible for employee benefits and insurance functions.
Back in 2006 he added the title of chaplain to his resume at the request of then CEO Bill Jones III who had just constructed a beautiful chapel outside the newly rebuilt Cloister. Prior to this, Bill conducted a Bible study in Human Resources and was available to employees for counseling. His duties as Sea Island chaplain include conducting weddings, baby dedications and Bible studies upon request. He also sends out a daily devotional. What began as a way to communicate with employees grew to include Sea island members and their friends and families and subsequently others who requested to receive the daily Bible verse and devotion. It goes out each morning to hundreds of people around the country.
One day, he was talking with his aunt and uncle who told him how they would print the devotional each morning before breakfast so they could read and discuss it while eating and would then place them in a binder. From this, the idea was born of a putting a book together with all the devotionals. After going through years of daily devotions, Bill compiled 365 of them in a book titled “A Book of Church Liturgy and Prayer from The Cloister Chapel, Sea Island, Georgia”. In addition to the daily verse and prayer, images from the Sea Island Chapel such as the ivy on the outside of the Chapel, the candle holders in the Chapel as well as a large iron cross from the front of the Chapel are included. It also features colored drawings of all the stained glass windows that are in the Chapel. The book is available at the retail shops on Sea Island and on the retail website (www.seaislandshops.com) as well as G.J. Ford Bookshop (www.gjfordbookshop.com) on St. Simons Island.
While Bill has many favorite memories throughout the years of serving in this role, he says he favorite memory is a very recent one. This past December at a book signing in the Chapel, he had the chance to read a special devotion and prayer he had written for his wife and four children on their birthdays. It was in his words “a great blessing to me to be able to honor them in front of family and friends.” It is no doubt that his family and the many people who have been touched by his daily devotionals have been blessed by him as well.
Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and The Southern C Summit. Mama x 4, wife x 1. Entrepreneur, thinker, doer, writer, researcher, believer. Enjoys working alongside creative entrepreneurs to build community while supporting established and upcoming brands. Hobbies include travel, reading, bike rides and clever craft cocktails.