Port Norris Legends

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Legends of Port Norris

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Rev. Ernest Barnes
b. October 3, 1926

Reverend Ernest Ralph Barnes, Sr. was born in St. Mary’s County MD on Oct. 3, 1926. From the time he was four, he went back and forth from Maurice River to Maryland as his family worked in the oyster shucking houses. In 1933 they settled in Shellpile, where Rev. Barnes said he saw his first cockroach and mosquito.

Rev. Barnes graduated valedictorian from Port Norris High School in 1945. He was one of only two African-American students to complete high school that year. It was common during that time for children from Shellpile to attend school only until the sixth grade, when they then went to work full-time in the shucking houses.

Rev. Barnes worked a variety of jobs from Dupont to local farms to the shucking houses. He worked for Robbins Bros and Harold Bickings. He also owned several small businesses, including a small restaurant. Rev. Barnes went to school part-time, which lead to work in the health field. He worked his way up from orderly to night charge nurse on the Alzheimer floor of the Veterans hospital in Vineland, where he worked for 20 years. During this time he continued his education, going to night school for horticulture. He started an edible flower business that he ran with his family for 13 years.

Reverend Barnes’ biggest love is his church He was called to the ministry in 1963 and was ordained in 1969.He started this career at the Shiloh Baptist Church Port Norris and work in churches throughout the area. He has been the pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church in Egg Harbor Township for more than 30 years. He and his wife Gladys have 8 children.

On November 16, 2008, Reverend Barnes was recognized as a Living Legend of Port Norris.

Source: Rev. Ernest Barnes

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Captian Amos Barnes
b. early 1900's – d. 1973 Read More