Pastor T. W. Barnes
Compliments of Sam Cheatham
Lucille and T. W. Barnes
Pastor T. W. Barnes
On July 12, 1913 Lonzo and Margaret Barnes became the parents of Tom Willis Barnes in Bradley, Arkansas. He is the author of three books, the first that he wrote entitled “Living in the Overflow” was published in 1997. How fitting a title, and how appropriate a title for the life of this man.
The Rev. T. W. Barnes tells the following story of his beginning life and ministry. When he was two years old his mother placed a few toys and a Bible on a pallet for him. He reached for the Bible and she felt that this was a sign that he would be used of God in a special way. A few years later he told his mother that something special would happen to him when he was twelve years old. When he was 12 he said Pentecost came to the little community where he and his family were living and he and his mother were filled with the Holy Ghost and were baptized in Jesus’ name. Bro. Barnes feels that this anointing began his life of faith.
At the age of 24 he began preaching the Pentecostal message. Before he began preaching on his own, he was helping in a revival when a beautiful young lady, Miss Lucille Farrington, came to the altar and received the Holy Ghost. On September 24, 1937 she became his wife and this September they will have enjoyed sixty-eight years of married life. They have one child, a daughter, Ruth, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
After evangelizing for a time, he accepted a pastorate at a church in Pinegrove, Arkansas. In 1942 he pastored in the Shiloh community, and in 1943 he went to Pendall, Arkansas and pastored there for four years. He said how happy he was while there. He preached in fourteen different communities in those beautiful Ozark hills. On Sunday he would preach four times in different churches and communities.
Coming to Minden
As he prayed one day he was surprised when God told him he would be leaving Pendall in the near future. On September 8, 1947, Bro. and Mrs. Barnes came to Minden where he became the pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church. At that time there were about 25 members. Today their membership is above 400.
Again, Bro. Barnes said he was not content to preach to just this small congregation, but he began going out into the surrounding communities and holding services in people’s houses, in brush arbors, in cotton fields, in tents wherever he could find a place to put one and in store front buildings.
Many people received the message and the Holy Ghost. Soon the little church in Minden could not hold the people. One of these revivals resulted in his building a church in Gibsland, La. For two years he pastored both churches, then felt led to call a permanent pastor for the Gibsland church.
These have been busy years for this man, fruitful years in the work of the Master. In his almost 68 years of ministry he has spoken at many conferences, camp meetings and other meetings.
In 1976 he was invited the bring the night address at the World Conference of Pentecostals that was held in Jerusalem. Bro. Barnes considers this one of the highlights of his years in the ministry
For 19 years he was Home Missions Director for the Louisiana District of the United Pentecostal Church.
For 36 years he was the Principal of the Louisiana District Youth Camps that are held in Tioga, La. He preaches at Family Camp Meetings each year in July in the early morning services.
Mrs. Nell Perry, who has edited and compiled all three of Bro. Barnes’ books, has also assisted other Pentecostal writers with books. She is a graduate of La. Tech University with both a B. A. and a M. A. in English. She is retired after teaching English for 26 years. He has been her pastor for 55 years.
Not a Prophet
Mrs. Perry said that Bro. Barnes is besieged with calls from across the United States and all over the world from other pastors, lay leaders, and those interested in the gospel. They call for prayer and for counseling as they work in the churches wherever they are. She said he is revered as a man of God in his community. Lawyers, judges, and law enforcement officers have relied on his advice and counsel for many years. Many come to Minden to talk with him. She said that at least 25 percent of these are from other denominations.
She said he will not call himself a prophet,but those who know him best realize that he is a prophet given to the church for this hour. His ministry is not confined to Minden or to Louisiana, but he is mentor, counselor, and friend to ministers and missionaries throughout the entire world.
In her Foreword to the book “Spiritual Warfare” which had its first printing in 2000 and the second printing in 2004, Mrs Perry quotes Bros. Barnes as he reminded her of the many trials and battles that he and the church here in Minden have undergone. She said that she witnessed most of these and could have mentioned many more that she knew about. She said that he is the epitome of victory over Satan and all his wiles She said that he has faced many attacks against his family and their church, but he prayed, kept the faith, used the Word and the victory came.
In 1998 he was honored by Minden as the “Man of the Year.”
The Rev. Barnes preached at the 2003 General Conference of the United Pentecostal Church International in Toronto, Canada. While there, he was one of four ministers honored as “Men of Faith.”
These books are filled with stories of people who were healed through the effectual fervent prayer of this man. Some of these have written parts of the book as their testimony to the power of prayer.
I’d like to give you a personal testimony to the power of prayer. In about 1962 my mother was a patient of Dr. Joe Holoubek in Shreveport. He ordered a GI series and discovered that she had a gallbladder full of gall stones. Her heart was so bad and she was about 78, so it would have been too dangerous to consider surgery. Periodically she had an attack and would turn a yellow color, her fever would climb and she would almost be in a coma. Dr. Richardson would put her in the hospital, give antibiotics, and hope for the best. On one occasion the R.N. in charge of the floor was Rose Walker. As she escorted Bro. Barnes down the hallway so that he could visit those who had requested prayer, she came to our room. She asked if we would like for Bro. Barnes to pray for her.
We readily agreed that we truly wanted that. He came in and we thanked him, and told him that we were Southern Baptists but we had utmost confidence in prayer and in his prayers.
A Sincere Prayer
He laid his hand on my mother’s side and prayed the most eloquent and sincere prayer for her recovery. We thanked him and he went on to others who were sick.
Years went by and she was very ill many times, with many ailments. In about 1968 she was hospitalized in Shreveport and Dr. Holoubek ordered the GI series. After the results came in he came and told us that there was one thing certain — she had NO gall bladder trouble. J. C. told the doctor he needed to go back and check the previous tests as well as recheck this one. Dr. Holoubek returned to say that he could not understand what had happened but there were NO stones in her gall bladder now.
J. C. asked me “Juanita, has your mother had any gall bladder attacks since Bro. Barnes prayed for her?” I thought for a long time, remembering the many times she had been in the hospital, some years at least four or five times, from eleven to twenty days each time. Never had it been for gall bladder trouble. She was healed from the time of Bro. Barnes’ prayers until her death in 1973. God answers prayers, and with a prayer warrior like Bro. T. W. Barnes it is understandable. We know because we saw it with our eyes.
His third book “If You Need Healing” was published in 2002, and it covers many questions, many answers all backed up with scripture from the Bible.
Currently he is still the Senior Minister at his church, and he has an Assistant, Bro Bob Rhymes.
who is married to a Minden girl - Shirley Samuel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Samuel. Bro.
Rhymes preaches most of the time but occasionally our 92 year old Bro. Barnes fills the pulpit with a message from God’s Word. Oh yes, he is living in the overflow - the overflow of God’s love and His grace. I am grateful to Bro. Barnes and to Mrs. Perry for sharing the story of his life and his ministry. “To God Be The Glory.”
Juanita Agan has lived in Minden since 1935. Her column appears Wednesdays in the Minden Press-Herald.
Archived Cameos of Minden
Rev. Barnes passed away Saturday, April 22, 2006 in Minden, LA. He was a native of Bradley, Arkansas and was a resident of Minden, LA. Rev. Barnes was senior minister for First United Pentecostal Church of Minden since 1947.
Survivors: Lucille Farrington Barnes of Minden; one daughter, Ruth Tanner and husband Sam of Minden; one sister, Ethel Walker and husband Gus of Springhill; two brothers, Ralph Barnes of Minden and Roscoe Barnes and wife Joy of Richmond, KY; four grandchildren, Michael Gray of Bossier City, LA, Sharon Garris and husband David, Ginger Garris and husband Dewayne, and Lisa Edwards and husband Jeff, all of Minden; very special great granddaughter, Amie Gray; great grandsons, David and J.P. Garris, Nicholas and Fisher Nixon, and Chris and Aaron Edwards; several nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers: L.C. Peevy, Larry Merritt, Randy Potter, Jimmy Hall, Gerald Martin, Randy Shaffer, and Jonathan Guthrie.
Honorary pallbearers: T.C. Bloxom, James Madden, Hal Jackson, Howard Spillers, Johnny Johnson, Judge Graydon Kitchens, and Dr. Max Stell.