The Reverend John Wallace Bardsley, Jr.

The Reverend John Wallace Bardsley, Jr.


Let us remember the Reverend Dr. John Wallace Bardsley, Jr., who died on November 9, 2014. John was born in Appalachia, Virginia on March 1, 1929, almost 7 months prior to the beginning of “The Great Depression.”

John graduated from Appalachia High School, Emory and Henry College, B.A.; Drew University School of Theology, M.Div., Geneva-St. Albans Theological College, D. Rel., followed by additional graduate study at Drew Theological School.

John and Sara Jo Greever Bardsley shared 60 years of marriage.  Her death occurred on April 28, 2013. Their surviving children are: Donna Bardsley of Kingsport, TN and John Bardsley, his wife Gina and their son, Alexander Bardsley of Anchorage, Alaska. In addition to a nephew and nieces, the Reverend Robert Leibold of Amityville, John and Mary Jo’s “Long Island” son, grieves the loss of his childhood pastor and collegial friend.

John’s journey to ordained ministry began with a License to Preach in the Holston Conference (1946), followed by ordination as a Deacon (1952). He transferred to the New York East Conference where he received Elder’s Orders and Full Membership. In 1989 Rev. Bardsley returned to the Holston Conference where he received several appointments before and after his retirement in 1994.

Rev. Bardsley’s 35-year appointment history in the NYE and NY Conferences includes: Queens: St. Albans: Grace (1954); Smithtown (1960); and Huntington (1983), until transferring to the Holston Conference.

The recipient of many awards and honors, he published articles and books including, “John Wesley and Articles of Religion” with Bishop Nolan B. Harmon. When Dr. Bardsley left Smithtown after 23 years, a lengthy tribute was written by the publisher and editor of The Smithtown Messenger, with this introduction, “Pastor Bardsley has been doing more in Smithtown than preaching and ministering to his congregation. He has been tending to the needs, the soul, the spirit of the entire community. He has done it well.”

A memorial service will be held at First Broad Street UMC on Monday, November 17, 2014, at 2:00 P.M. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the church’s Fellowship Hall.

Memorials may be sent to: The Sara Jo and John Bardsley Scholarship Fund of Tennessee Wesleyan College, 204 East College Street, Athens, TN 37303; The Endowment Fund of First Broad Street UMC, 100 East Church Circle, Kingsport, TN 37660; Appalachia UMC, Appalachia, VA 24216.