The Editor knew of Barry Smith during his time in New Zealand.  He had a fine reputation and maintained his testimony in faithful service to his Lord.

Statement from Andrew Smith on behalf of the Smith Family

First and foremost, Barry was more than a public figure to us, he was an extremely loving husband to Mum (May) – and a dedicated father to his children. He travelled extensively, speaking internationally, but maintained daily contact with each member of the family wherever possible…we spoke with him two hours before he died in a hospital in Worchester, England. He had been unwell for a few days, and was under observation when he went to be with Jesus. He knew he was about to leave having told a friend (Apollo Perelini) two days before “I’m really tired Apollo, I’ll be going home soon”. Apollo said “Back to NZ Uncle Barry?” He replied “No – to be with my Lord”.

His legacy – is that he has left his family completely secure with regard to where he has gone – and we’re thrilled for him, we’ll be with him again soon! And – he loved people – teaching us that people are far more important than material things.

Wherever I go I meet people who have come to know Jesus as a result of my Dad, through his preaching, books and videos or meeting him personally. He wasn’t interested in being popular – he just wanted people to know how to find peace with God! He made the gospel very clear…kind of like the last of the Mohicans in terms of his no nonsense approach in presenting the gospel.

Known for relating current events to Bible prophecy, he didn’t like the title of ‘prophet’…simply, he wasn’t one. Barry called himself a talker – who gave a commentary of world events and Bible prophecy.

He wasn’t loved by everybody – some accused him of scaring people into the Kingdom of God – he maintained that going to hell was scary, but that the alternative, the gift of God, was brilliant – and that people could always readjust their motives later.

Out of the pulpit – Barry was a real character. He didn’t just talk about being a Christian, he was one. Those who knew him personally knew him as a humorous, funny man – always laughing or speaking about Jesus! His favourite verse – John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

In the last year he talked about going to Heaven a lot – he always has really. Back in the 80’s he had a quadruple bypass operation which extended his life by around 15 years. We, his family, are grateful! We have been quietly preparing for Dad’s departure for some time – I spoke with him by phone a couple of hours before he died and he was in great spirits, although weak as a result of a minor heart attack. He was hoping to get on his flight home today (Friday 28th)…

Am I proud of him? Definitely – as a family we all are! He was a real man of God in and out of the pulpit. He left no doubt as to his destination and desire to be with Jesus. He made it clear that we can see him again soon…a very responsible man.

We miss him, and there is a lot to sort out, but he prepared us for this event and in his own words, “This is not the end – it’s just the beginning.”

The funeral will be held in Blenheim, 11am Thursday 11th July 2002 at Stadium 2000, Kinross Street, Blenheim. This is to be confirmed.

Andrew E Smith

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