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Bernard Irwin Barnes was a Methodist minister stationed at churches in West Virginia and Maryland from the 1930s through the 1960s. His papers include his sermon notes and drafts, including the dates and churches where each sermon was delivered; assorted prayers and quotations; and his personal scripture study of First Corinthians.

This collection includes Barnes' sermon notes and drafts, including the dates and churches where each sermon was delivered. These are usually typescripts with manuscript annotations. Topics range from scripture study, the life of Jesus, and traditional devotional subjects to more contemporary topics such as race relations and World War II. He references scripture as well as other Methodist writings, like Clovis Chappell's Ten Rules for Living. The collection also includes miscellaneous notes kept by Barnes with assorted prayers and quotations; his personal copies of the Methodist Ritual and his personal scripture study (including annotations) of First Corinthians; assorted church bulletins and orders of service from various churches; and some miscellaneous receipts and other items related to his pastoral work.