Barcus, John M. (1860–1928)

By: Mary M. Standifer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 5, 2020

John M. Barcus, Methodist minister, the son of Edward Rosman and Mary Frances (Smith) Barcus, was born in Tulip, Dallas County, Arkansas, on December 23, 1860. In 1874 his father, an itinerant Methodist minister, transferred to the Northwest Texas Conference, and the family settled on a farm ten miles from Waco. Barcus was licensed to preach at the Bruceville Camp Meeting in McLennan County in 1880, and in 1882 he was admitted to the Northwest Texas Conference. In the latter year he received the first M.A. degree granted by Southwestern University. Barcus married Mary T. McCrary in Belton on November 5, 1885, and the couple became the parents of eight children. Barcus held many pastorates in Texas. He was secretary of the Central Texas Conference for twenty-one years and was elected to the General Conference six times. For twelve years he was a member of the General Board of the Epworth League. He was secretary of the Committee of Appeals for the church from 1910 to 1922, a member of the publications board of the Texas Christian Advocate, and a trustee of Southwestern University for thirty-two years. In 1911–12 he served as president of Alexander Collegiate Institute (now Lon Morris College). In 1893 the Northwest Texas Conference passed a resolution drafted by Barcus and two other ministers denouncing the holiness movement and urging clerics to withhold their support. Barcus wrote on religious subjects and published several articles in the Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly. In 1905 Southwestern University awarded him an honorary doctor of divinity degree. He was a Democrat, a Mason, and a Rotarian. He died of spinal meningitis on June 12, 1928, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth. Seven children survived him.

John M. Barcus, "A Trip through the Panhandle in 1887," Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly 1 (April 1909). Dallas Morning News, June 13, 1928. Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Journal of the Central Texas Conference, 1928. Walter N. Vernon et al., The Methodist Excitement in Texas (Dallas: Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2.

  • Religion
  • Methodist
  • Freemasonry
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Mary M. Standifer, “Barcus, John M.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 5, 2020

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