Port Norris Legends

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Legends of Port Norris

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Rev. Ernest Barnes
b. October 3, 1926 - d. September 11, 2022

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.

Source: Rev. Ernest Barnes

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

Ernest R. Barnes
Dominick Capaldi presenting Rev. Barnes with his Legends award, at the first Legends Award Dinner, November 16, 2008 at the Port Norris Fire House.
Photo: Rachel Cobb

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

Ernest R. Barnes
PNHS Members Elizabeth Hoffman and Rachel Cobb atteneded the 100th Celebration. It was a grand service and much singing. Mrs.Barnes has a lovely voice. 2017.


Ernest R. Barnes

Obituary of Ernest R. Barnes

On Sunday September 11, 2022 Rev. Ernest R. Barnes departed this life after a brief illness. Ernest was born in St. Mary’s County Maryland to Amos and Martha Lee Barnes. His early childhood was spent in Baltimore, MD and Port Norris, NJ. Ernest graduated as valedictorian from Port Norris High School in 1945 and was one of two African American to attend. Later attending the Nursing program at Cumberland County Vo- Tech receiving a certificate as a Licensed Practical Nurse also attending their Horticultural program there. His love of plants and gardening continued throughout his life. Many often stop to admire the landscaping displayed in his yard.

After 20 years he retired from the Veterans Hospital in Vineland as a Licensed Practical Nurse. In preparation for the ministry he attended Crozier Theological Institute in Chester, PA. Studying Homology and History of the Christian Church. He studied church administration at the Universal Life Church of Modesto CA and was ordained by them. He attended the source of Life Missions of Tennessee.
In 1969 Ernest found his true love when he became ordained. He began his ministry at Shiloh Baptist Church at Port Norris, NJ.

He has pastored several churches serving as assistant pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church, Port Norris, NJ. Interim pastor at Mt. Calvary Milmay, NJ Pastor at St. John’s Baptist Church Springtown, NJ and was called to Macedonia Baptist Church. He was pastor of Macedonia for 43 years until becoming pastor emeritus upon his retirement in October of 2021.

Throughout his life Rev. Ernest Barnes received many awards and special recognition and achievements.

In 1997 he founded the P.U.C.S Pastors United Community Service Along with Bishop Myrtle Mays.

In November of 2008 he was honored as a “Legend of Port Norris “by the Port Norris Historical Society.

He is preceded in death by his parents Captain Amos Barnes and Martha Lee Barnes. Sisters Agnes and Rosemary brother Amos Barnes (Skippy). Stepfather Gilbert Green Nellie Johnson and Mildred Smith mothers of his children.
Sons Henry Braxton and Charles Smith. Daughters Nancy and Iris .Nephew Harold Barnes niece Donna Weems

Ernest leaves to mourn devoted wife Gladys .Loving family sisters Thelma Weems Port Norris, Delois Barnes Md. brother Douglas (Shirley) Green Vineland, NJ. Sons Ernest Barnes Jr. (Gerry) DE, Glenn Barnes (Claire) El Reno Oklahoma, Michael Barnes NJ, Michael Barnes East Orange NJ Ricardo Barnes Mays Landing NJ (Loretta) Roland Carter (Brenda) Sicklerville, NJ.
Daughter Anita Barnes-Edwards (David) Philadelphia, PA 21 Grandkids 25 Great grandkids 13 nieces and 16 nephews and a host of other family and friends from the many organizations he was a part of. Especially the members of Macedonia Baptist Church in Egg Harbor, NJ.

Visitation at Main Service
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Funeral Service
11:00 am
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Shiloh Baptist Church
2411 Memorial Avenue
Port Norris, New Jersey

Final Resting Place
Haleyville Methodist Cemetery
Steep Run Road
Commercial Township, New Jersey

Ernest R. Barnes
Flowers sent by the PNHS