Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Barry Kroeger - A Brief Memoir

The thing I appreciated most about Barry was how real and open he was. He was one of the most genuine men I’ve ever met. Barry never put on a fake face and he was always himself. Barry was Barry and that’s what I liked about him. He wasn’t afraid to share his heart and get right down to business. I felt that when I talked with Barry, it was actual fellowship- the way fellowship was meant to be. I was never very close to Barry, but despite that, I always felt close to him because of this quality God blessed him with.

I have good memories of talking before service, after service, or during Awana with Barry. Some nights, we would drive the Awana van together and take the children back to the trailer park and then have some time to talk when they had all left. We would never talk long, but I always enjoyed it because he always had good advice and a positive perspective on his life, despite the struggles he was going through. He would never have a conversation without somehow mentioning God in it. That meant a lot to me and showed me where his heart and mind were. I tend to be a pessimist, but Barry was a great example to me of optimism and having joy in Christ that I will always remember.

Barry was never afraid show emotion. I remember him crying publicly in the church at least once. That alone showed what a genuine man he was. I remember sitting behind him in service a number of times, and Barry loved to worship the Lord! I don’t think anyone else sang as loud and as joyfully as Barry did. I wished that I could be as excited as he was about worshipping God.

One of my favorite memories of Barry was the couple of times he filled in on short notice as teacher for our college Sunday school class. He never had much of a lesson prepared, but he would just share his heart about something and it was awesome. He would share about something God had been teaching him, dig deep into the Bible, and talk of his experiences and things he had learned, or things he was currently struggling with. I learned more from his authentic, unprepared classes than I almost ever learned in a regular class. I love the memories of those classes with Barry because they capture him so well- a willingness to serve, a genuine heart, and a passion for God.

Barry’s joyful spirit, genuine personality, and his servant attitude showed that Christ was on the tip of his heart all the time. I have a lot of respect for Barry and my memories of his life provide me with an excellent Godly example to follow as I grow and mature in my own life. It brings me lots of joy to know that Barry is now worshipping and glorifying God in ways that he never dreamed of. :-)

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