Friends and family of Rev. Bill Barnes (1931-2017) are invited to gather on Wednesday, July 17, 9:30 a.m. at Edgehill UMC, 1502 Edgehill Ave for the unveiling of a historical marker authorized by The Metropolitan Historical Commission.

The marker will be placed at Edgehill UMC to honor the work and memory of Bill. The text of the marker reads: “Reverend William L. “Bill” Barnes, a pastor, civil rights leader and teacher, was often called ‘the conscience of Nashville.’ Rev. Barnes passionately agitated for legislation that would help those marginalized by race, social class, sexual orientation, incarceration, or homelessness. He also founded many organizations to bring attention to those issues including MANNA (1975), Project Return (1979), and the Organized Neighbors of Edgehill (O.N.E.) Barnes Scholarship (1995).

In 1966 Rev. Barnes founded Edgehill United Methodist Church, one of Nashville’s first intentionally integrated churches. His work, addressing issues like affordable housing, often centered in the Edgehill community. Barnes wanted his work to be carried into the future, believing, much like Saint Oscar Romero, that, ‘The temple shall remain unfinished until all are housed in dignity.’ In 2013 The Barnes Housing Trust, the city’s affordable housing fund, was named in his honor.”

A brief service of remembrance will be held in the church sanctuary before Mayor David Briley has the honor of the unveiling. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony.