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New FUMC youth minister
By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS –First United Methodist Church’s new youth minister Lissy Barber is making an impact on the community.
“When we interviewed her, we were impressed with the many gifts she had,” Pastor Lou Ellerbrook said. “She has many gifts that will be beneficial to our church that will impact our community. I think we hit a homerun.”
The feeling is mutual with Barber, who graduated from West Texas A&M University in May with a degree in corporate communication. She heard about the job through the Wesley Foundation at the university.
The Colorado transplant moved to Childress for her first job out of college. She said she is really excited to live and work here.
“I am so incredibly blessed to be here,” she said. “Everyone has made me feel so welcome. Everyone is super kind and welcoming. I really like it.”
The 22-year-old started the new job Aug 21. Since then, she’s been ministering to youth ages sixth through 12th grade. There are 27 students enrolled in the youth program, she said.
The group meets on Wednesdays with the junior high meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and high school from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. Barber said this includes a meal where they all eat dinner together, play games and have the lesson. Last week they talked about social and emotional boundaries.
“God has really shown up since I moved here,” Barber said. “It’s been impressive. The kids are awesome. “I am really looking forward to getting them to comprehend Jesus’ love for them and the sacrifices he made for them.”
Ellerbrook said she is building relationships with the youth, but it goes above and beyond that. Barber also is working with their parents.
“The kids are really liking her,” Ellerbrook said. “She’s really warm and easy to visit with.”
Barber said she knew she wanted to do youth ministry at the end of her sophomore year of college.
“I started following the Lord in college after joining the leadership team at the Wesley Foundation at WT,” she explained. “I felt led.”
Since then, she’s interned in Silverton and Sunray in their youth ministries. While Barber is teaching students, she said she’s also learning from them. This includes patience and welcoming others.
“They’ve taught me to be even more welcoming to others and how impactful it is,” Barber said. “It’s more than I’ve experienced in other places. I feel really blessed.”