Wilson G. Barker, c. 1865
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Rev. Wilson Gilvan Barker was born near Bristol, Virginia, on December 25, 1830. He was trained as a school teacher and served as a Colonel in the Confederate forces during the Civil War. On February 4, 1866, Barker was ordained as a Christian Church minister and was called “Brother Barker.” It was in 1866 that Brother Barker left Bristol, Virginia, with his wife Sarah and their three children to arrive at the Buffalo Creek Christian Church (now Hopwood Memorial Christian Church) where Barker became the first teacher and administrator of the Buffalo Male and Female Institute, an establishment of higher education for young men and women.