Jack Barber, Minister of Storm Lake Church of Christ is set to retire after 44 years of preaching to Midwestern congregations. On Sunday, Barber gave what he expects to be his last sermon. A celebration dinner honoring Jack and Lucille was held after the service.
Barber always held the dream to preach again in Storm Lake and for over five years he has done that at the same place he was baptized and married.
"It was always my dream to give back to the church that gave me so much," Barber said. "I am grateful that I was able to come back to Storm Lake even with being a little older."
Even with retirement, Barber will be serving as a Chaplain for Tyson Foods in Storm Lake. He is still happy to be serving but is also looking forward to the lighter workload.
"It was just my time to step aside and to let a younger person with a little more vigor step up and serve," Barber said. "I am looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren and doing more camping. Also Lucille and I are looking forward to spending more time together. Over the years we haven't always had time together so that is one thing we are both really happy about."
Barber has served many communities in his career. After eight years of study in college he traveled to Bagely, Sheldon and Morrison in Illinois for the Church of Christ. He also gave sermons at Christian Church in Palisade, Colorado where he also served as a police Chaplain. Barber would later become the Civil Air Patrol's Chaplain.
He was honored in 2000 as National Squadron Chaplin of the Year
According to Barber, he has had many wonderful moments as a minister and has never regretted his decision to enter the ministry - but he does admits it wasn't always easy.
"There are many challenges and tears but I have never regretted it," Barber said. "One of the best moments is to see people I've been working with develop into Christians who are hungry for the Word, and knowing I played a small part in that development."
One of the many tasks that Barber always looked forward to was the research.
"I really enjoyed preparing for a sermon," Barber said. "I would research deeply into the Word and I hoped that people would get the same benefit that I would, as I shared it through my excitement."
As Barber enters his retirement from serving a congregation, he is going to miss the people he has been with. He said he is also blessed to have worked with many of the ministers in the Storm Lake.
"The ministers in the community are great and have been really helpful and I really appreciate their fellowship," Barber added. "And I'm looking forward to continuing to live in the Storm Lake community."