Pastor Barks marks golden anniversary

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 09:31 AM.

Joyce was a widow of several years when Barks ventured up to a North Carolina church that was ministered to by one of the Marines at Camp Lejeune Barks had mentored years earlier during four years of the Vietnam War.

Joyce had prayed for a godly man, and that’s who she got, as the two hit it off in short order. Barks would croon the 1946 pop classic “Tenderly” over the telephone as they talked long into the night, or as she set off on his busy morning commute.

Barks’ ties to North Carolina date back to 1964, when he was fresh out of Southeastern Bible College. As a young man growing up in Pensacola, he had been affected by his experiences at youth camps, where he first sensed his calling.

“I think I knew early on that was the purpose of my life,” he said.

After studying marine biology at Pensacola Junior College, and the Bible college, he and his wife Wilma married, and lived in a mobile home working with the Lumbee Indians, the largest tribe in North Carolina.

Actually, he was called to the ministry in 1960, and was licensed by the West Florida District Assemblies of God on May 7, 1964, and then at age 23, the minimum age, was ordained while a member of the North Carolina District Assemblies of God on April 26, 1967.

In Sept. 1964, he pioneered a church in Jacksonville, North Carolina and served as a contact chaplain for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.



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