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Criswell College student killed after joining in funeral’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’

DALLAS (BP)–Eddie Barrett, a 39-year old Criswell College student, was killed Jan. 17 at his overnight security job in Dallas.

A day earlier, Barrett had joined in the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus” as a part of First Baptist Church sanctuary choir’s closing to the memorial service for longtime pastor W. A. Criswell.

Barrett, a first-year ministerial student, was working at the Infomart on Stemmons Freeway when a man drove a disabled vehicle onto the parking lot around 2:40 a.m. Jan. 17. After Barrett approached about the need to call a tow truck, the man pulled a handgun and fired several shots at Barrett, according to a Dallas police investigator quoted by the Dallas Morning News.

Reports indicate that Barrett had called for backup when he recognized that the man was becoming agitated. Barrett had pulled a mace canister off his belt prior to being shot. After the suspect fled, a second security guard alerted police and provided a description of the man, leading to his arrest behind a house several blocks away. He is expected to be charged with murder. Barrett had worked at the computer-related facility for five years.

Barrett had been raised in Meadow Creek Baptist Church of Mesquite, Texas, where Ronnie Yarber, now of Athens, Texas, pastored for 25 years. Yarber described Barrett as one of the most loving men he’d ever known. “Eddie was a fine man who wanted to be a police officer from as long as I can remember, but he also wrestled with God’s call on his life to ministry.”

Circumstances had prevented Barrett from deciding to prepare for ministry earlier, Yarber said, but once he had settled the matter, he was anxious to study at Criswell College. “He told my wife that God had dealt with his life pretty head-on,” Yarber said in describing Barrett’s decision to answer God’s call to ministry.

Criswell College President Richard Wells added, “Eddie was called to preach and wanted to be a pastor.” Noting Barrett’s willingness to help the stranded driver, Wells added, “He had a pastor’s heart already.” Barrett also served as a part-time security officer for the Criswell College.

Wells described Barrett as a loving father to his daughter, Chanda, and son, Dustan, and a devoted husband to his wife, Sandy. “The Criswell College family mourns the loss of one of our own. But we rejoice over the testimony he leaves,” citing Mark 8:35.

Barrett’s brother, Benny, was also active at First Baptist Church and serves as a local police officer. Barrett’s mother, June, had been involved in short-term mission work. Barrett is also survived by two other brothers and one sister. His father preceded him in death.

Services for Barrett are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19 at First Baptist Church, with pastor Mac Brunson officiating alongside Yarber.

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  • Tammi Reed Ledbetter