Our first big trip as a family this furlough took us to Tarboro, NC, 364 miles from our home base. Pastor Mike Barnett and his wife, Marianne, grew up in the same church as my wife. I have known Mike for about 15 years and they have been great friends to us. Mike is the pastor of New Grace Baptist Church in Tarboro, NC.
We enjoyed our time together and really appreciated their hospitality. As well as having a lot of fun, we were encouraged by their family and ministry.
Pastor Mike is a man with a big heart. He and Marianne have poured out themselves in service to God and the people of Tarboro, NC. They have a deep and genuine love for people. New Grace Baptist Church is more or a less a church plant situation and I would encourage you to pray for them.
I have seen Mike grow over the years and constantly take on new skills and challenges as he has endeavoured to serve the Lord. He is a rare man and we need more like him.
We also met the Barbers. Jonathan Barber is an evangelist I would highly recommend to you and your church.
Mike and Jonathan both challenged me and were a help to me. It was great to have the opportunity to go out on a run together while I was there.
It was my privilege to preach on Sunday, January 4th 2015 at New Grace and then to share a devotion at a nursing home in the town on Monday.