Barry Rumsey Smith – the Preacher
(10 May 1933 – 27 June 2002)
Barry Smith was a Christian preacher, Bible teacher and author, who wrote 7 books on Bible prophecy and travelled extensively, speaking about the end times in relation to Bible prophecy and current world events.
Barry taught for over forty years throughout the Pacific, Australia, the United Kingdom, USA, South Africa and other parts of the world. He travelled by invitation only, often packing out large churches, auditoriums and even stadiums – his messages and views were entertaining, compelling and sometimes controversial. Literally thousands of people committed their lives to Jesus Christ following Barry’s preaching.
Barry maintained his teaching on Bible prophecy was a vehicle to ‘lead people to a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ’. He was recognised for his views on ‘the end times’ but personally, his mission was that of an evangelist.
His central message was – there is no security in this world outside of a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ; and that people should read the ‘signs of the times’ and find security in God:
- Watch as world government groups begin to control nations, through controlling oil, and control people, through controlling food
- Watch as ‘cash’ is phased out and a cashless society ushered in; the ultimate tool to control and manipulate people; this would include ‘the mark of the beast’ system of buying and selling – a microchip implanted in the hand or in the forehead
- Watch for the formation of a New World Order – a global government, which will eventually be led by a single world leader, the Antichrist (one who stands in the place of Christ)
- Watch as a ‘one world religion’ forms – which will be led by ‘the false prophet’ who will endorse the Antichrist
- Ultimately, the world leader (Antichrist) will be seen for what he really is: a follower of Satan whose aim is to be ‘like the Most High’.
Barry Rumsey Smith – the person
Statement from Andrew Smith on behalf of the Smith Family following Barry’s death in 2002
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.”
Andrew E Smith
Some thoughts about my friend and the effects of his life
by Marcus Arden.
At Barry’s funeral I pointed out that I had met hundreds of preachers and yet only a few were genuinely kind. Barry was one who was kind. He cared about what happened to people not just the success of his projects. Many people testified how he had contacted them in their hour of need and encouraged them, others spoke of the hospitality and love they enjoyed. Others told how Barry had got on a plane to especially come and encourage them. This is the practical work of a faith that is not dead. Many profess love, only a few have the actions that go with it.
Many many people either became Christians or were encouraged to continue continuing on for God because of this man sowing seeds in their lives, and the harvest continues on. The tapes and books still go out, “he being dead yet speaketh.” Seldom have I seen such enduring fruit. Many times in my travels I met folk who told me they came to the Lord through Barry “last year,” “sixteen years ago,” “thirty years ago,” and many have gone on to lead others.
As Paul wrote to Timothy, “these things you learned from me among many who witnessed, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others so that they may also learn.” Barry lived this out. As I think back over his years of work I am amazed at the great effect one life can have on so many, what a great influence for good. Now he has gone but the fruit remains.
Others now live for God and have their moments of influence. We are always and forever sowing seeds. Seeds that can have a good or evil harvest. Barry sowed wisely and well for many years, and many are grateful to God for him.