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Rev. Dr. Barry Drew Van Deventer

Rev. Dr. Barry Drew Van Deventer
  • March 4, 1934 - April 23, 2020
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • The Rotary Club of Charleston Fund
    PO Box 21029
    Charleston, SC 29413

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“Barry was a very special person. Anytime I heard one of his sermons it was always almost spell binding. I'm going to miss visiting with him on my...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Norman Trowell Trowell - Seminole, FL

“Our sympathies go out to Barry's family. We knew him while he had interims at Harbor View Presbyterian Church and also James Island Presbyterian...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Elsie & Jim Clees - Charleston, SC


The Reverend Dr. Barry Drew Van Deventer, 86, of Charleston, South Carolina, left the Church Militant for the Church Triumphant on April 23, 2020.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, to the late Theodore Hamilton Van Deventer and Ada Virginia Holsworth, Barry spent his boyhood in Orlando, Florida. Promised to God by his Grandmother, he answered the call to prepare for ordained ministry in the southern Presbyterian church while at King College in Bristol, TN. He earned degrees from the University of Florida, King College in TN, Union Theological Seminary in VA and Bethune Cookman in FL. During his studies at Union he married his college sweetheart, Laurie Taylor, in 1957.

Barry was ordained into the ministry in Suwanee Presbytery in 1959 serving at First Presbyterian in Starke, FL, Highlands in Daytona Beach, FL, St. Johns in Jacksonville, FL and Memorial Presbyterian in Montgomery, AL. In 1974 Barry accepted the call to South Carolina to serve as the Executive Presbyter of the Charleston Presbytery (later Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery PC(USA)) for 26 years and held the position in 1983 providing steadfast leadership to the presbytery during the pivotal reunification as the northern and southern branches of the church reunited, having remained separate for over a century following the Civil War. He oversaw the organization of the Dorchester, Heritage, Lowcountry, Providence, Santee and Sea Island Presbyterian Churches. During his tenure, local Presbyterian churches doubled their membership, contrary to national trends for the denomination. After retiring as the E.P. in 2000, Barry was privileged to continue faithfully serving God while serving the General Assembly of the PC(USA), the Synod of the South Atlantic and numerous churches of the CAP.
He undertook the position of Interim Synod Executive for the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic and also served the congregations of Bethel/Walterboro, James Island, Johns Island, First/Orangeburg, Santee, First/Beaufort and Westminster/Charleston.

Throughout the years and states, Barry served on founding and existing boards of countless charitable organizations and taught at area colleges and universities. He was a longstanding member and past president of the Rotary Club of Charleston.

Barry spoke concisely in a deep, comforting voice suited to his strength filled frame and was a compelling speaker and story teller with a rumbling, ready laugh. He enjoyed history, trains, the outdoors, bluegrass, recalling people and their stories, limericks, teaching, irreverent humor that caused his wife to laugh against her will, any story that could rightly be described as uproarious, quiet early mornings with a fresh paper and black coffee and practical service.
He was devoted to his family. A God shaped, loving protector, an example of God's faithful wisdom and grace, Barry was an able builder in every sense of the word. He joyfully and ably built dollhouses, forts, bookshelves to line the walls, churches, consensus, God's kingdom and the character of his beloved grandsons.

Barry is preceded in death by his cherished wife of 56 years, Laurie T. Van Deventer, his sister Lee Trowell and his brother David H. Van Deventer.
Barry is survived by his four children; Jonathan Taylor Van Deventer (Debbie), David Bruce Van Deventer, Anne Van Deventer Camburn and Sara Van Deventer Williams. He is also survived by five grandsons; Christopher Camburn (Katie), Collin Camburn, Jacob Williams, Seth Williams and Ethan Williams; by his great-grandchildren, Emma Camburn, Liam Camburn and Thomas Camburn; his brother Ted Van Deventer and a loving extended family.

Barry's family wishes to express their gratitude to the caring staff at CHOA, PHC, Roper St. Francis and the many friends who have extended prayers and sympathies from Westminster, Monticello, and Summerville Presbyterian Churches, as well as churches throughout the CAP.

Due to current restrictions, a public memorial service to honor Barry will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lowcountry Food Bank, 2864 Azalea Dr., North Charleston, SC 29405 (lowcountryfoodbank.org/donate/), Water Mission International, PO Box 63320, Charlotte, NC 28263, The Rotary Club of Charleston Fund, PO Box 21029, Charleston, SC 29413 or a church fund or charity of your choice.