A Lifetime of Advocacy for Campus Ministry. A tribute to Barry Cavaghan

Barry F. Cavaghan, 1930 to 2014

Barry Frank Cavaghan, Sacramento, California, completed his work at Union Theological Seminary and felt called to be of service at small community churches. He spent one year at 29 Palms near Joshua Tree National Park in a temporary pastoral visiting position. He was called to a Presbyterian church in Corning in 1957.

His work with the youth of that church over several years caught the attention of Sacramento Presbytery who urged him to accept an assignment as regional campus minister in 1961. He served Sacramento State, Sacramento City, American River and Sierra Consumnes Colleges until the late sixties when funding declined dramatically and he was given a sabbatical to prepare for another profession.

He attended the Counselor Education program at California State University, Sacramento, earned a second master’s degree and qualified as a licensed marriage and family therapist in 1971. He remained active in campus ministry, however, becoming president of the UMHE (United Ministries in Higher Education) which became the CCCM (California Campus Christian Ministry), a support group for campus ministers. In this role, he visited campus minsters, raised support money and organized conferences for exchange of ideas and resources between campuses and from guest speakers and educators.

He enjoyed serving as a guest preacher at many churches throughout Northern California for more than 50 years. Barry loved all things that soared: he was an avid recreational pilot; he was awed by the beauty of the natural world; he climbed challenging mountains; and he found inspiration in great music, great ideas, and the triumph of the human spirit. He was devoted to his family and gave of himself fully until his sudden and brief illness.

In April 2014 Barry was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer. His first and most poignant regret was that he would miss the July NCMA meeting in St. Louis.

Submitted by Barry’s family, shortly after his death on May 20, 2014.

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