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These stories were recorded by my mother, Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall, in the late 60's. They are her personal recollections of events related, in most part, by those directly involved.
Mother met Abdu'l-Baha in 1912, when she was 15 years old. He told her that she would grow like a tree and have many branches. Years later she realized, as so often happens, the meaning of this prediction. It was twenty years before she declared her belief in Baha'u'llah, and she has observed many times 'it takes a tree 20 years to mature'. She has four children, fifteen grand children, and a couple of dozen great grand children.
In the early 30s Mother, who was divorced from her first husband, Theodore Obrig, married the Reverend Reginald G. Barrow. The wedding ceremony was performed by her father Howard Colby Ives. It is family history that they spent their wedding night on a park bench, as they could not obtain a room in a hotel in Boston. Bishop Barrow, was a man of color, who was born in the West Indies.
Rev. Barrow was a Bishop of the African Orthodox Church, who had declared his faith in Baha'u'llah. He had been ordained an Anglican Priest on Barbados, and when he learned, upon coming to the United States in 1923, that the Episcopal Church was segregated , he ultimately decided to work with the African Orthodox Church. The African Orthodox Church had similar origins to the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches. Dad retired as the Archbishop of the African Orthodox Church for North America.
In addition to raising her children, mother was an active Baha'i. She served on assemblies, lived in a cooperative house with other believers, was a homefront pioneer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, pioneered to Madera for several years; and practiced her faith in her daily life.
As you will see, these stories are, in most cases, her recollections of events which the participants related to her. There are slightly different versions of some of them published elsewhere. We are not offering these as alternatives to other versions, but as what one person, Mother, remembered in her late sixties.
What we feel is important in these stories is the message and feelings they bring, not the historical facts. We will leave the facts to researchers and historians. We offer the images and emotions which shaped the path for one Friend of God and which may point out a direction to others.
While we have changed the spelling of some names to conform to the current Baha'i Dictionary, we have not edited the stories, as we are presenting Mother's Stories for you to savor as she wrote them.
Reginald Grant Barrow Jr.
Shawnigan Lake, BC March 1998
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MIBN Stories Copyright (c) 1998