Hello Clyde Americans!
My name is Monty Barnett and I am very excited to be among you as a pastor, friend, and fellow follower of Jesus! As a way to introduce myself I can say I was raised in Canadian, Texas. The Wildcats were state champions in football long after I became a has-been. The church at Clyde reminds me in many ways of my home church. One of those ways is the presence of James Holman, who baptized me as an infant. Maybe he’ll have an opportunity to turn the tables and sleep through my sermons.
I remember some formative moments as a youth in Canadian, but as I’ve gotten older, my appreciation has increased for those adults, young and old, who modeled and communicated the love of Jesus Christ to kids like me. I don’t remember any particular thing they taught me, but I do remember 20 years later that they were there. That’s life impact. I thank God for Sunday school teachers, youth workers, and note-writing encouragers who are so giving of their time because they clearly understand the importance of the call to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The faith became real to me in college through the ministry of the Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech. I went through Disciple Bible Study and began part-time youth ministry at Tahoka, Texas, during my sophomore year, which was my first inkling of a call to ministry. I graduated from Tech with a business degree and interned for a year at the Wesley Foundation. I really enjoyed learning and leading at the Wesley as I began discerning the call of God on my life.
My greatest accomplishment is obvious: getting Ashley to marry me 13 years ago. After we married, I worked as an accountant at University Medical Center for two years while Ashley interned at the Wesley Foundation and taught school in Idalou. Then the Lord opened doors for me to attend Asbury Seminary and pursue ministry in the United Methodist Church. To show for our four years in Wilmore, we have one seminary degree, Ashley’s four years of experience teaching 1st & 2nd graders, a three-legged dog named Zoe, and our Kentucky souvenir, Hannah.
We moved to Throckmorton in 2006 and spent three years serving the church there and at the metropolis of Elbert. During that time I palpated my first cow, learned the inner workings of cattle management at a calf roping, and experienced the feeling of getting scoped by a rifle. Caleb and Hope are both Abilenians by birth, and a hungry, homeless dog won the lottery when she found our doorstep. Zachy is far from hungry now, but she willingly puts up with 3 kids, so she must remember the feeling.
In 2009, I was appointed to serve the mission field of O’Donnell and Draw. We spent our time climbing cotton seed piles, playing in mud puddles when they formed every other year, watching PBS Kids, and eating breakfast burritos on Saturday mornings.
These past seven years have been an opportunity for much learning and growing for all of us. While we are still adjusting to saying goodbye to people we love and admire in O’Donnell, we count ourselves extremely blessed to get to meet and make new friends in Clyde. We’ve already experienced the kindness of the Lord through you, which reminds me of my favorite verse, at least for today: Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” I greatly look forward to spending time with each of you hearing your story of God’s goodness and love!
Only By Grace,