During August and September we’ve invited several people to give you a look back
at the history of The Barnabas Center. We hope these stories will be encouraging
and that you’ll resonate with the needs and hopes that are being shared.
In mid-September we’ll be back online with our usual thematic blog posts.
Twenty-five years. I shake my head in amazement that it has been that long since the birth of The Barnabas Center. I remember the beginning.
Twenty-five years ago, Dave and I had conversations with Palmer as he was praying through how God was going to use him next. We knew his gifts as a counselor as he had already walked with us through a rough patch in our marriage. We had also been involved with him in small group ministry and tasted his passion for connecting and equipping people to struggle well with life together. I remember sitting in the living room of good friends while Palmer shared his dream of a Christ-based counseling center. He shared with us why he chose the name “The Barnabas Center.” The emphasis was on Barnabas “son of encouragement.” The Barnabas Center – a place where one could be encouraged to walk through difficult places in life with the hope that only comes through the transforming work of Jesus. And the dream became a reality. It was definitely a big step of faith and trust for Palmer and Lynne. I was encouraged by their courage.
Dave and I were on the first Board of Directors and have served several times since then. It was a smaller group in those days – maybe 8 of us. The first office was in the old Young Life Building that was located beside Westminster Presbyterian Church on Randolph Road. In those humble beginnings, roots were established. Discussions began about how to grow the staff and broaden the vision. The goal was, “How can The Barnabas Center reach more people in a hurting world?”
Many changes have happened over these 25 years. Each person who has served on the Board of Directors has played a critical role as they have given guidance to this ministry and brought their unique perspective to the table. With the addition of each counselor and support staff, the vision of The Barnabas Center has been able to grow and broaden. And because of that growth, thousands of lives have been touched, enriched, encouraged, and changed by the redeeming work of the Cross.
When I think of how my life has been affected personally, well, that is when the tears come – tears of gratefulness. Through counseling, both individually and with Dave, the rawness of deep hurt and my own sin was exposed so that healing could take place. Dave has served on the leadership team for Quest for the last 12 years and every one of those adventure weekends has challenged and renewed him in his walk with Christ. Quest has also awakened his need for deep friendships with other men. Heart to Heart weekends have strengthened our marriage. The different levels of Barnabas Training have taught me how to listen, ask better questions, and enter into the stories of those around me. Because of all these things, I continue to challenge myself to risk more and love deeper with my God, my family, and my friends. There is a richness and depth in these relationships that I can trace back to that living room 25 years ago. I am forever grateful.
We are hosting a 25th birthday celebration this September, and we’d love to have you
join us! It will be an evening of stories and sharing as we look back at where
Barnabas has been and look ahead to where we’re going.
Friday, September 12, 2014 from 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Refreshments and dessert will be served.
For more information and to register please visit:
Marion Reinken received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University. She has been involved with The Barnabas Center from the beginning. Marion is self employed as a companion/ personal assistant to 4 elderly families. She lives on Lake Wylie with her husband Dave.