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Rev. P.T. Barnum, former Trinity pastor, dies in BG

The Trinity United Methodist Church family asks for prayers for the family of former pastor who served in Columbia from 1999-2003.

Rev. Philip Thomas Barnum passed from this earthly life on August 6th 2020 in Bowling Green, KY. P.T.'s faith and love of Jesus Christ overflowed into every area of his life. He served as a United Methodist Pastor for 41 years throughout the KY and Louisville conferences.

Visitation will take place at Johnson-Vaughn-Phelps Funeral Home on Sunday August 9, 2020 from 2-6pmCT. Funeral services will be held at St. James UMC on Monday, August 10, at 11am with visitation at 10am. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or your favorite church mission.

As a teenager, he attended a revival in Pittsfield, MA and through the preaching of Bro. E. Stanley Jones felt the Lord calling him into the ministry. Philip was a graduate of Sue Bennett and Union Colleges in KY and earned his Master's in Divinity at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. At Emory he served as the activity director of Davidson School for the Deaf in Decatur, GA.

Upon his retirement in 2011, he and his wife Peggy, a retired teacher, moved to Bowling Green and joined St. James UMC. They wanted to be near their two sons; Stephen (Denise) and their four children (Berkley, Ember, Arlee and Otto ) of Nashville along with Michael (Reagan) and their seven children (Helen, Harper, Halle, Henry, Holly, Holt and Harrison) of Woodburn. He is survived by the above family, as well as his mother, Mildred, (103 yrs) of Great Barrington,MA, and his brother, Bruce, of Lee, MA. His father, Bethuel Barnum, precedes him in death.

Although Kentucky was his home, he was a proud New Englander at heart, growing up in Housatonic, MA with his parents and younger brother. He was a newspaper carrier, an active member in the Housatonic UMC and an avid trout fisherman. The biggest catch of his life (next to his wife) was a 52 lb 4 oz. king salmon on the Talkeetna River in Alaska.

During his ministry P.T. loved people and never met a stranger. He was well known for his boisterous laugh, overflowing generosity and genuine compassion for everyone he met. Philip knew the prayer concerns of his neighbors, the grocery store clerk and never rushed a conversation. His true desire was to share the gospel, the truth and joy found in scripture. He enjoyed shepherding his flock by preaching, visitation ministry, serving on mission boards and spiritual leader in the Emmaus community. Peggy was very involved in his ministry with outreach to others. Last year they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a reception hosted by their family.

As a blood donor he gave over 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross, transitioning to an apheresis donor. He was an active Rotarian serving as President of the Central City Rotary Club.

P.T. had fought Alzheimers for the past 11 years. First he was a participant at the BG Adult Day Care then as a resident at Chandler Memory Care, and the final 5 years at Magnolia Village.

This story was posted on 2020-08-08 13:12:59
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Rev. Philip Thomas Barnum, former Trinity pastor

2020-08-08 - Photo from the family.
Rev. P.T. Barnum, former Trinity United Methodist Church pastor

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