Barry Smith sat in his driveway brokenhearted about what he had just done. Out of desperation to supply his habit for prescription pills, he broke into his daughter’s piggybank and took her money. He couldn’t believe his addiction had taken him to that point, and something inside of him finally broke. Barry had hit bottom before but this was different. He was lower and darker and deeper than ever before. He had been battling alcoholism and addiction off and on for many years. Barry’s addiction blinded him from seeing everything that meant anything to him and he was ignoring his children and in danger of losing his wife. To make matters even worse, he was being watched by law enforcement for dealing drugs out of his home.

FINDING HIS PURPOSE

It was at his darkest moment, in 2012, sitting in his driveway that Barry realized something needed to change. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he cried out to God; begging Him to change his life and to reveal Himself.

Barry decided to attend a local church and give his life to Jesus. Everything changed. He surrendered everything and realized that God had a purpose for his life. He knew deep inside that he was called to reach the desperate, the lonely, the broken, the forgotten, and the unwanted of this world. He knew he was called to reach people with the life-giving truth of the love of Jesus Christ. His desire was to have a deep, meaningful, and purpose-driven relationship with them.

PAYING IT FORWARD

After realizing this vision for his life, Barry began to serve with a recovery ministry in the Stone and Taney County Missouri area through Celebrate Recovery and Recovery Housing Discipleship. Barry saw many lives redeemed and many families restored. A young man named Brandon was just was one of those examples. Barry met Brandon during a ministry visit to the jail. Because of God’s intervention, Brandon came into the discipleship house. Brandon completed all his court requirements, obtained legal custody of his daughter, married a godly woman, and started his own business. Brandon’s life was completely changed because someone cared enough to visit him in prison and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

“Don’t hide your light, God’s story of you is the key to someone else’s freedom.” – Barry

A CALL TO CHURCH PLANTING

After completing training with Celebrate Recovery and schooling with Global University, Barry met John Alarid, Lead Pastor of CityReach Church Springfield, through a friend from Teen Challenge. Pastor John and Barry met prior to an event to pray for the event. A week later, John invited him to coffee and asked him to share his testimony and vision for ministry. He shared his testimony and all about his heart to reach people. Pastor John shared the vision of CityReach to reach people through planting churches and told Barry about the lives being changed in the Hope Homes. They realized that the vision God had given Barry is part of what CityReach is already doing. The rest is history… Barry Smith will be planting CityReach Church Branson on September 17th, 2017!

Barry worked as a sales manager at a hotel in Branson and broken people often came in looking for a place to live. Over 1200 people in Branson live in hotels and there are many homeless in the valleys. He would minister to people right in the lobby and often see healings and lives restored. Addiction is a growing epidemic in Branson. People are often overdosing and dying in the hotel rooms. They are people without a shepherd; lonely and hurting. Barry Smith felt God leading him to “love and feed His sheep.”

CityReach Church Planter Barry Smith and his family

To find out more about CityReach Church Branson, click here:

LEARN MORE ABOUT CITYREACH CHURCH BRANSON