Pastor Richard Barron passed away on December 12, 2021, at the age of 90. For 60 years, he dedicated his life to serving God in multiple capacities.
While Pastor Barron held many positions within the church throughout his life, including Conference President, departmental director, Ministerial Director for the Bermuda Conference, and pastor and evangelist, he had a special place in his heart for the youth of the world.
“Dick[Richard] was a team player who dedicated his life to youth work,” Pastor Baraka Muganda said. “He believed in the youth! He loved the Lord and wanted to inspire young people and youth leaders to love Him as he did.”
Pastor Barron focused his evangelism on the youth through many ministries. For decades, he was a part of the Youth Department of the General Conference and he was the first African American elected to the Youth Ministries Department for the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, and he led or organized service projects both within divisions and spanning across divisions. He was involved in Devotions for Youth, inner city and urban youth ministry, Week of Prayer, youth ministry on both Adventist and non-Adventist campuses, and Youth in Evangelism.
And retirement did not stop Pastor Barron. Even after withdrawal from his normal work, he continued to speak and preach to youth at gatherings across the globe. According to a short biography of Pastor Barron, he continued with such vigor even after retirement because “with the imminent return of Christ upon us, it is best to be used up proclaiming the good news of God’s loving power to the lost, rather than sit idly by and watch the parade of unrepentant sinners on the death march to Christless graves.”
Even while Pastor Barron spent months away from home taking the Word to others, he never forgot his wife and his own youth, his three daughters. Carol Barron, his daughter, has many fond memories of her father. “He was a great family man. . . . He had a great sense of humor. He taught us how to knit.” Pastor Barron bought the girls their first tent, and then made them sleep in it in the backyard for a bonding time.
“He could cook, but breakfast only,” Carol continued. “He could make you plate-sized pancakes any time of the day.”
Pastor Barron had a rare ability to balance his demanding schedule with home life, Carol said. As a child, she had a difficult time with her father’s long periods of absence, and her mother finally discovered that she needed regular contact with him—not just letter-writing. She needed to hear his voice.
“He would call me from the middle of someone’s ocean,” Carol said. “After that, I would straighten up and get through the next eight weeks.”
Pastor Gary Blanchard, Youth Director at the General Conference, said of Pastor Barron, “He was a very straightforward and kind person. His words were often filled with ‘grace and truth’ like that of Christ.”
Pastor Barron is survived by his three daughters, Teresa Ann Barron Pinkney, Shelley Renee Barron, and Caryl-Marie Barron; sisters Carol Barron and Joahn Barron Frazier; four grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.