Many born again Christians around the world will remember, I’m sure, the late New Zealand Evangelist, Barry R. Smith.
For over 30 years Barry and his wife May frequently flew to many countries on numerous speaking engagements, clocking up thousands of air miles and always with the same personal message: “Jesus Christ is coming soon. Praise the Lord.”
In 1997 I first saw him talk in London and over the next five years, I must have heard him speak half a dozen times. I didn’t always agree with all of his charismatic statements, but with Barry, you always knew the topics and information he loved to talk about and share with his audience.
And what subjects they were:
Barry also found time to pen seven interesting books. I have them all at home, with six being signed by him. His favourite Bible verse was always John 3:30. Barry never did get to sign his last book for me, because sadly he died alone in Worcester, England in a hospital corridor.
The date was June 27th 2002. And of course the missed opportunity of hearing him once again say at the beginning of all his meetings: “King James readers – read with me.” If you’ve watched any of his videos, then you’ll know what I am referring to.
In one of his books that he kindly inscribed for me, he stated: “If I was the devil I would have invented religion in the place of relationship.” How I agree with that true statement. You have to get out of religion – today if possible – and into a lasting relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ
Barry could be prickly, as I learnt one evening when I told him that Archbishop Paul Marcinkus (“God’s infamous Vatican banker”) was not dead – as Barry thought – but alive and well, living in Arizona!
(Patrick and Barry)
Barry looked at me with disbelief, turned and walked away. None of us likes to be corrected, do we?
In 2001 James and I drove up to London to hear Barry’s lecture on the occult and assorted cults. Before the meeting started, and it was a packed house, I introduced him to James. As the evening progressed, both of us noticed that he wasn’t on top form. A family tragedy at home had slightly clouded his train of thought. What I wasn’t to know was that it would be the last time I would see or hear him ever again, until we get to Heaven.
But I do have his videos and books, and this to me is the secure lasting legacy of the late Barry R. Smith.
20th April 2006
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