Rev. Tom Willis Barnes (1913~2006)
United Pentecostal Church International
Tom Willis Barnes was born July 12, 1913, in Bradley, Arkansas to Lonzo and Margaret Barnes. When Tom was two years old, his mother placed several toys and a Bible on a pallet in front of him. He reached for the Bible. His mother felt was a sign her son would be used of God in a special way. A few years later, he told his mother that when he became twelve years old, something special would happen to him.
When Tom was twelve years old. A Jesus’ name preacher named, Hubert Wingate came through town in 1925. During that time Brother Wingate baptized Tom, and his mother in Jesus’ name. About that same time Tom received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Thus began a life of anointing on this man of faith.
At the age of twenty-four, he began preaching this Pentecostal message. before he began preaching on his own, he was helping in a revival when a beautiful young lady, Lucille Farrington, came to the altar and received the Holy Ghost. On September 24, 1937, she became his wife. They had one child, Ruth.
After evangelizing a while, he accepted the pastorate of a church in Pinegrove, Arkansas. In 1942, he pastored in the Shiloh community, and in 1943 he went to Pendall, Arkansas, and pastored there for four years. He relates how happy and content he was while there. he preached in fourteen different communities in those beautiful Ozark hills. On sunday he would preach three times in different churches and communities.
As he prayed one day, he was surprised when god told him he would be leaving Pendall in the near future. On September 8, 1947, he and his dear wife and daughter deove to Minden, Louisiana, to become pastor of the small congregation there. Not content to preach to just this small congregation, he began going out into the surrounding communities and holding services in people’s homes, in brush arbors in cotton fields, in tents whereever he could find a place to put one, and store front buildings. Many people received the Holy Ghost, and soon the little church in Minden could not hold the people. One of these revivals resulted in his building a church in Gibsland, Louisiana. For two years he pastored both churches, then felt led to call a permanent pastor for the Gibsland church.
For ninteen years, Brother Barnes served as Home Missions Director for the Louisiana District. He touched the lives of thousands of young men and women during his thirty-six as principal of the Louisiana District Youth camps. Even at the age of ninty, he was active in the Camp Meetings in his district. He was the author of three books: Living in the Overflow, Spiritual Warfare, and If You Need Healing.
Brother Barnes was revered as a man of God in his community. Lawyers, judges, and law enforcement officers have relied on his advice and counsel for many years. In 1998, the Minden Chamber of Commerce named him Man of the Year.
Known as a man of faith, he blessed so many people in his many years of ministry. he would not call himself a prophet; however, those who knew him realized that he was a prophet given to the church for this hour. His ministry was not confined to Minden or to Louisiana, but was mentor, counselor, and friend to ministers and missionaries throughout the entire world.
He preached many camp meetings and conferences. One highlight of his ministry was preaching in Jerusalem at the UPCI World Conference in 1976. His heartbeat for many years was to pray for the Jews.
After a long and prosperous ministry, Brother T.W. Barnes went into his eternal rest on April 22, 2006.