At Teen Camp in 1965, Barry was challenged by a sermon on the Great Commission
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 NLT.
It was on that grassy field around a warm campfire, that this teenaged boy said “yes” to being a pastor. After working for a year and also motorcycling around Europe for a few months, Barry registered at Life Bible College. He and Susan were married in 1969 and Barry graduated from College in 1971. He worked during those several years in sales and management at Canadian Forest Products.
After finishing Bible College, Barry served as Youth Pastor of Coquitlam Foursquare Church, while working full time at CFP, and also remodelling and building houses for his family.
Still thinking he was too young to be a “real” pastor, he continued working in the business world for another decade. Barry always felt that 30 years of age, like Jesus, Joseph and David, he would be of age to move forward into his life purpose. Their daughters, Kelly and Kristy, were born during those years.
Around 11:00 pm October 1976, while still awake in bed, Barry saw a very distinct vision of a lady giving birth to a baby. In those seconds that transpired, he felt like Nehemiah, when he said, “God put clear words into my mind …”. The words were, “I want you to give birth to a church in Port Coquitlam. I don’t want you to gather Christians together, but begin with new baby believers.”
The next day after discussing the idea with Susan, they decided to complete the finishing and landscaping of the home they’d built in Coquitlam, and then put it up for sale. It sold in less than a day to a Christian couple who’d seen a vision of the home they were to buy. When they drove by Barry’s and Susan’s home, they instantly knew it was the very one they’d seen in their vision.
On July 1, 1977, Barry then 30 years old, they moved a few kilometres away to a small home in Port Coquitlam. Having learned how to pray as Jesus taught the disciples, And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 NLT, he decided to mark off 100 surrounding homes as his “parish”. Every evening after work, at sundown, Barry would walk throughout those homes and intercede for the families who lived there. There were no Christians at that time in the neighbourhood. With the spiritual authority that every believer has as ambassadors, he bound evil and opened spiritual doors.
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NLT
In his book, Sumphoneo, Barry has described how in nine months exactly, the first spiritual baby was miraculously born, then another and another. Soon, Susan began a simple Bible Study with the neighbourhood women, who had become inquirers or believers, and Barry began an evening Bible Study, answering, the best he could, the many questions that his neighbours had.
By May 27, 1979, with their family of four and 18 new believers, they began Sunday services in a local school library. Susan played piano and taught simple songs, Barry taught, and Kelly and Kristy, who were only 8 and 6 at the time, taught, in the school hallway, the few preschool children.
The church began to grow as the new believers invited their friends, and within about 18 months there were about 70 people. By faith, Barry was able to resign from his secular job and begin pastoring full time. Within seven years, through a series of miracles, again described in “Sumphoneo”, they were able to buy property in Port Coquitlam and construct a church facility. They continued to learn, and grow into a strong church of a few hundred adherents.
In 1992, the church where Barry had been a Youth Pastor 20 years earlier was not doing well. They’d built a beautiful new building in Coquitlam, but in the process had shrunk to less than a hundred people, so it was decided that Northside Church would take it on as a second Campus. Both, Barry and the worship team, would travel the 7 km back and forth, from the 9 am service in PoCo, to a 10 am service in Coquitlam and back for the 11 am service in PoCo. They did this for 17 years, as the church continued to grow. During that time also, Barry attended Acts Seminary, working toward his Master of Ministry degree. He was given a Doctor of Divinity degree by Pacific Life College in 2006.
Several times over the years, Northside would give away groups of people, from 20 to 100’s to plant churches across the Northside of the Fraser River. Barry oversaw the church plants for a while and then released them as autonomous Foursquare, or independent Churches.
In 1998, Barry began to write books on a variety of Pastoral subjects. His first books, “Life Journey” and “Life Purpose”, he wrote as a series of letters to his and Susan’s daughters.
For a full list of his 20 plus books see his web page <overthewallministries.ca>.
In 2000, Barry was feeling experienced enough to begin his ministry of teaching and encouraging pastors in other nations. His travels have taken him throughout the Americas, Asia and Africa over the past several years.
2007 was a significant shift year for Barry. Another church facility, formerly Grace Community Church was added as a third campus to Northside. From that building, Northside sponsored a strong ministry of recovery to ex addicts and street people. They operated a food coop, clothing ministry, discipleship, worship services and job training serving hundreds of men and women.
Also that year, Barry was appointed as president of the Foursquare Church of Canada for a five year term.That responsibility required extensive travel across Canada to visit and speak at Canadian Foursquare churches. During those demanding years, he continued as Lead Pastor of the three campuses of Northside, plus teaching in several nations.
Having spent almost a half century in Pastoral ministry, Barry has felt a shift in his personal call to a more apostolic emphasis. Continuing to serve as Lead pastor of Northside Church, his passion for raising up indigenous ministers of the Gospel and planting churches in unreached areas over the last decade has moved into priority status. Through a divine encounter, he began a partnership with Ray and Linda Noah of Petros Network, <petrosnetwork.org>.
“Since 2010, Petros Network has planted more than 1000 churches in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. Church planters report over 1.5 million Ethiopians have heard the gospel for the first time, and over 150,000 Ethiopians have responded to the message to follow Christ and joined the local church. Redemptive Lift efforts have followed the church plants. Through Petros Network, and the local indigenous church, a training center, a guest house, two primary schools (Ethiopia and Uganda), 373 physical church buildings have been built, and an additional 303 are in progress. Water has been advanced in the city of Gojo, a model farm is being developed, 50 acres of land is being harvested, medical and dental clinics have been launched by church partners, five widow’s homes have been built, and The TESFA Project was initiated to provide micro-grants, meaningful work, training, and support for widows and orphans. Truly, Petros Network has demonstrated the local church, when at its best, is the hope of the world.”
– quoted from Petros Network webpage
Petros works with over 30 denominations planting churches in East Africa, exclusively with indigenous pastors, in unreached villages. The mutual values of Northside Church and Petros Network have created the foundation a healthy relationship. Over these past few years, Northside has sponsored over 200 church plants both locally and overseas. About 12,000 solid conversions have resulted from these new churches. Barry travels with a team twice a year to train hundreds of enthusiastic indigenous pastors. His latest book “Go Power” overviews the ministry philosophy Barry adheres to. <overthewallministries.ca>
In these past few years, Barry felt it was time to release the ministries of their second and third campuses as autonomous churches. He and a strong team of leaders, mostly volunteer, continue to serve theIr community and are committed to giving 50% of their church income to ministries beyond the walls of Northside Church.
When not travelling, pastoring, studying or teaching, you can usually find him writing another book, working in his garden, or spending time with his wife, daughters Kelly and Kristy, and their husbands, and six grandchildren, who all live close by and serve in Northside Church. Barry considers pastoring his family, his and Susan’s highest calling.