Dr. James Alexander 'Parson Jim' Barclay

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Dr. James Alexander 'Parson Jim' Barclay

March 21, 1934 - September 28, 2018

Searsport Jim died peacefully at home after a long period of declining health. Born in Berkeley, CA, Jim spent his youth in the Bay Area and Santa Rosa. He was truly a Renaissance Man.
Claiming to be older than his 15 years, his first of many jobs, was working for the National Forest Service in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He graduated from San Jose State University, became a Navy Test Pilot, an entrepreneur, graduated from seminary, and became a pastor at the age of 42.
In 1976, he moved from CA with his "combined" family to Hampton, NH where he became Pastor of the First Congregational Church while also earning a Doctorate of Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School. He was awarded the distinction of Pastor Emeritus (the only one in its 380+ year history) of the Hampton Church.After some business ventures and raising his family he came to Searsport where he and Ann have resided for 30 years. It was often asked, "Is there anything you haven't done?"
To encapsulate this man whose spirit and enthusiasm made for a full and adventurous life, his family members attempted to describe him in one or two (thousand) words: funny and fun, storyteller, courageous, traveler, creative, intelligent and ingenious, inquisitive, perceptive, animal and nature lover, outdoorsman, thoughtful, spiritual, industrious, persistent and loving, constantly evolving, game for anything with a childlike sense of play, a visionary and a leader. A friend and member of the Searsport Congregational Church (pastor from 1989-2002) described him as a Pied Piper; turning a small church camping trip to Baxter State Park into an annual event with several church families and leading a team of volunteers to make full-size Tee Pees for the children's summer program.
As Parson, Chaplain, Therapist, and Leader, he touched lives from coast to coast with his stories, kindness, compassion, ability to handle a crisis, his humor, and his wisdom. He was a recipient of the President G.H. Bush "1000 Points of Light Award" for his volunteer work in the community with his Puppet Program.
Amongst all of the "doing", he would have quiet moments of prayer practicing lifelong to BE HERE NOW. Hearing these tributes, he would likely shrug modestly, and chuckle with a gleam in his eyes.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Ann Barclay, seven children: Mark Watson, Bruce Barclay, Dean Watson, Kirsten Webb, Katrine Barclay, Scott Watson, and Eric Watson, their spouses, several grand and great grandchildren. If you wish, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Searsport First Congregational Church. At Jim's request, a family service will be held at a future date.
Published on October 6, 2018
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3 posts

Salesperson in Bangor
Oct 09, 2018
So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He will certainly be missed. He was one-of-a-kind! He had such a happy, friendly way about him. He loved God, life, his family & friends and everything around him. I always looked forward to his stopping in our store. He had such a sense of humor. Such a wonderful gentleman. He was intentional about everything he did. Sharing God's love with everyone he met. I thank God that Jim passed through my life... may we all be more like him. God Bless his family & friends.
Oct 08, 2018
My condolences go to your family.
I know Mr. Barclay was a great & outgoing person.

God promises there will be a resurrection of the dead. Acts 24:15, John 5:28 & 29,
John 11: 39 - 44.
So it's possible to see your loved one(s) again.
Also God will swallow up death forever.
Isaiah 25:8
No more death and suffering
Henry Grover
Oct 08, 2018
Jim was a father, grandfather, friend and comfort to so many of us. He was a true pastor of the people who could relate and preach in a way that connected with all kinds of folks. He was a great friend and father figure to me. There are so many stories. We climbed Katahdin, visited Italy, stood in line for hours in the freezing cold to get reservations at Baxter, and hid hundreds of Easter eggs including the "golden" egg. One of Jim's gifts was using his every day experiences to help others relate to the Bible. It was often an adventure that started with a Bible verse, moved to something that happened that week ( like his beloved dog chewing his hearing aid again) and then back to a passage ...about forgiveness, healing or love. The children were so important to him and he to them. My own daughter Jillian was "Nilligin" to Jim and I can see his crooked smile as he greeted her and the others. Jim did much Hospice work and shared that no matter how I'll someone was or how much pain they were in, at the end a true peace came upon them and he was confident God was with them. Look out God, the prodigal son has returned! I love you my friend.Read more