B. J. Garber, retired superintendent for the Alabama North District, passed away July 24.
Garber was one of seven children born to Thelma Bowman and Lester Garber Sr. He married his childhood sweetheart, Glenna Dell Barr, on November 28, 1948, while attending Bethany-Peniel College (now Southern Nazarene University). After graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, he attended Nazarene Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Arts (1954) and Doctor of Ministry (1989).
B. J. pastored five Nazarene churches in Texas and Missouri before he was appointed the first superintendent of the Alabama North District. He planted 25 churches on the district from 1983 to 1997. While serving as district superintendent, B. J. was awarded an honorary doctorate from Trevecca Nazarene College (now University).
His other leadership positions in the Church of the Nazarene included district Nazarene Young Peoples Society (now NYI) president and district Sunday school chairman, as well as trustee for MidAmerica Nazarene University, Trevecca Nazarene College, and Nazarene Bible College. B. J. also served in missions, traveling to Dominica and Barbados with Work & Witness teams and volunteering as a professor at Africa Nazarene University in Kenya for a semester in 1999.
B. J. is survived by his wife, Glenna, four children, grandchildren, great-granddaughters, brothers and sisters, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A funeral was held at Carthage First Church of the Nazarene on Friday, July 31.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Joplin District Church of the Nazarene Church Planting Fund or School of Ministry or the Carthage First Church of the Nazarene Mission Trip Fund in care of Knell Mortuary, 308 W. Chestnut, Carthage, MO 64836.