Bachelor, Baylor University, 1935. M.Th., Southern Methodist University, 1938. Doctor of Divinity, Central Methodist College, Fayette, Missouri, 1958.
Doctor of Humane Letters honorary, Nebraska Wesleyan University, 1977. Hum.D. honorary, Westmar College, 1982.
Ordained to ministry, United Methodist Church, 1939;
consecrated bishop, 1976;
minister, Boyce Circuit, Waxahachie District Central Texas Conference, 1939-1940;
minister, St. Luke's Methodist Church, St. Louis, 1940-1947;
minister, Centenary Methodist Church, Bonne Terre, Missouri, 1947-1949;
minister, Methodist Church, Maryville, Missouri, 1949-1957;
minister, Missouri United Methodist Church, Columbia, 1957-1976;
bishop South Central Jurisdictional Conference, United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1976-1984;
part-time consultant board discipleship Southeastern Jurisdiction, United Methodist Church, 1984-1992;
dean, Chapel Lake Junaluska Assembly, 1990-1992. Member World Methodist Council, since 1953. Participant conferences, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, 1956, Oslo, 1961, London, 1966, Denver, 1971, Dublin, Ireland, 1976, Honolulu, 1981, Nairobi, Kenya, 1986, Singapore, 1991, Rio de Janeiro, 1966.
Exchange minister in England, 1953. President Missouri Conference Board Education, 1956-1964, Missouri Council Churches, 1966-1968. Chairman Missouri East Conference Board Christian Social Concerns, 1968-1972.
Member Methodist General Board, divisions ecumenical and inter-religious concerns and health and welfare Methodist General Board Global Ministries, 1972-1976. Now staff consultant General Board Discipleship. President World Methodist Museum, 1986-1988.
Board directors Wesley Foundation, Columbia, 1957-1976, Columbia United Fund, 1964-1970. Trustee Southern Methodist University, 1952-1968, 76-84, St. Paul School Theology, Kansas City, 1968-1972, 76-84, Missouri School Religion, Columbia, 1957-1976, Philander Smith College, Little Rock, 1976-1984, Lydia Patterson Institute, El Paso, 1976-1984, Mount Sequoyah Assembly, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1976-1984, Nebraska Wesleyan University, 1976-1984, Omaha Methodist Hospital, 1976-1984, Bryan Memorial Hospital, 1976-1984, Western Nebraska General Hospital, 1976-1984. Advisory council Great Rivers council Boy Scouts American, 1960-1976.
President Friends World Methodist Museum, 1986-1988. Member of Masons (33d degree), Scottish Rite (33d degree), York Rite Mason (Knight Templar), Rotary.
Married Corneille Downer, July 22, 1941 (deceased July 1989). Children: Lucy (Mistress Samuel S. Barlow, Junior), James J., Robert M. Married Twila Farrell Stowe, June 27, 1992.