Senior Pastor

Barton Elliott Harris

The life of Pastor Barton Elliott Harris of Westwood Baptist Church, University Center is a “tale of two cities” – Nashville, Tennessee and Boston, Massachusetts.

Pastor Harris is a native Nashvillian.  In Nashville he was born, reared, educated, ordained and married.   He is a Pearl High School alumnus – class of 1969.   In 1973, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fisk University and received departmental honors and General University Honors.  At Fisk, he was inducted into the Delta Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Fraternity.

Upon receiving a Protestant Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, he matriculated at Boston University School of Theology and received his Masters of Divinity Degree.  Having secured several fellowships, he pursued post graduate studies at Boston University.

While in Boston, he taught at St. Francis de Sales School and later became its principal.  (Under his leadership, the school received national recognition and was featured in the New York Times.)  Simultaneously, his involvements included the pastoral ministry.  He served as interim pastor of Myrtle Baptist Church in West Newton, MA (1975), as assistant pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Dorchester, MA (1976-1979), and as senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Roxbury, MA (1980-1987).

In December, 1987, he relocated to Nashville to assume the present pastorate of his home congregation, Westwood Baptist Church, University Center.

Pastor Harris has a wide range of experiences serving churches, schools, colleges and universities, prison ministries and various religious and civic organizations. He formerly taught Mathematics at Tennessee State University and at McMurray Middle School (Metropolitan Nashville Public School System).

For over forty years, Pastor Barton Elliott Harris has been married to Carolyn Alvina Washington Harris (his Fisk classmate) of St. Petersburg, Florida and for over thirty years, he has pastored Westwood Baptist Church, University Center.

  July 2021  
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