My post on ParkingSpace23’s blog this week expounds 2 Timothy 4:6-8 in regard to my brother Jim’s sudden and unexpected death on August 11. On August 15 I conducted his memorial and graveside services in Cody, WY. Jim had pastored First Baptist Church there for the past 28 years. You can access his obituary here: James A. Barrick. The picture at the right shows Jim in a boat on the Sea of Galilee in April 2015 when his church sent him and his wife Rhoda to Israel on a tour with my church, Placerita Bible Church, as thanks for 25 years of pastoral ministry at First Baptist.
The Garden Tomb became the site for a family picture–Rhoda (Jim’s wife), Jim, yours truly, and Barbara (my wife). No one can visit this site without deep contemplation of the significance of the resurrection of our Savior. Jesus went to prepare a place for us and Jim has arrived there ahead of the other three of us.
At Genesis World most of our group got to ride a camel–either to Abraham’s tent or back from his tent. Jim and Rhoda road a camel to the tent where we experienced a wonderful meal while reclining at the tables. Riding a camel certainly seemed to be quite different than driving his school bus or his old Suburban to and from Meeteetse and Cody (see the link to a newspaper article about that later on this page). But, as with everything else he did, he was game to give it a go–and enjoyed it in the process.
The last Sunday I heard my brother preach was in April 2015 at En Gedi in Israel. I’m only sorry that I didn’t get a better picture of him on that occasion. Jim loved the Lord and His Word. He believed that it was inspired and inerrant. His favorite English version was the old King James Version, which he loved for its rich literary cadences that made it easy to memorize. Our family’s pastor, Dr. John Weidenaar, who led our parents to the Lord in 1962, would be pleased to know that Jim preached the Word so faithfully.
On September 21, 2014 First Baptist Church of Cody honored Jim and Rhoda for 25 years of ministry as pastor of that church. Jim had also pastored for a year in Ennis, MT and was an associate pastor under Dr. Ralph Martin and Memorial Baptist Church in Rockford, IL for 17 years. Jim’s total pastoral ministry experience at the time the Lord called him home amounted to 46 years. Jim served faithfully and filled many roles–pastor, counselor, Christian school administrator, Christian school teacher, Christian camp director, and coach for a variety of sports. The local newspaper published “Team-driving Preacher” about the coaching experience and practices of this remarkable man for whom God allowed me to be big brother.