Samuel Lee Barnard was born in Brownsville, Texas, in May of 1980 to Jimmy and Kay Barnard. He was the third of what would be four sons followed by one sister. Sam's family life was full of the joy of being part of a loving, active family, which would shape the man he became. It was in this family that Sam developed a love for people, his God, and the smile that became the trademark of Samuel Barnard.
As a young boy Sam, loved to be outdoors whether it was crabbing or fishing with his mom, dad, sister, and brothers, or hunting with his uncles, or playing baseball at West Brownsville Little League and soccer at Oliveira Park. As he grew, golf became a passion. He saved every scorecard.
Sam, with his family, attended Church of the Good Shepherd with Pastor Gayle Gardner, where Sunday school, Royal Rangers, and Youth Group were a vital part of his life. It was here, under the leadership of Youth Pastor James Brown that Sam began to develop a love of ministry through the Spread the Fire summer tours and mission trips.
Sam attended First Baptist School where his mom taught and then, with his brothers was homeschooled. He graduated from Valley Christian High School and then earned a degree in Accounting from Oral Roberts University in 2002. As a student at ORU, Sam served as an intern with Church on the Move's 180 youth outreach ministry where his love and encouraging spirit made a lasting impact. Upon graduation he moved to Dallas, where he joined Cavalry Church as a Children's Pastor with his brother, Jonathan. It was there that Sam met the love of his life, Jennifer. They married in 2003.
Sam and Jennifer moved back to Brownsville to join the family business, Coastal Realty, in 2005. Sam became an integral part of the company's financial accounting and property management operations. They also joined International Christian Center and soon were serving as small group leaders and made lasting friendships. Their ministry of hospitality made their home a place where everyone was welcomed and wanted. Sam's love of the outdoors turned into adventures like whitewater rafting in Tennessee, hiking the Grand Canyon, and offshore fishing. About this time their family expanded with the addition of Dakota and Montana their k-9 children. It was also during this time that Sam's life was forever changed: the first iPhone was released.
In 2009, Sam and Jennifer felt God calling them back to his home church, Good Shepherd Community Church. Together they served in the children's ministry. Sam joined the Worship Team on keyboards and all those piano lessons with Lois Aten paid off. A new home allowed them to host game nights and block parties, and "Continental"� was introduced to a whole new group.
After much prayer, Sam and Jennifer were blessed with the desire of their hearts as they welcomed the birth of their baby, Grace. And that smile that Sam was known for took on a whole new dimension whenever he talked about her-which was all the time! And Sam was the prince to her princess games.
In August of 2013, Sam began his greatest battle. The diagnosis of cancer shook his family and friends. They prayed and stood with Sam; and Sam's smile never dipped. The family of God in Oklahoma, Dallas, the Rio Grande Valley and in places Sam never went joined in the fight for his physical healing. And Sam's smile never dipped and he never quit. Ultimately, Sam received his healing and put aside the perishable for the imperishable on February 4, 2015; and today he smiles from His Savior's side.
Samuel is preceded in death by his grandfathers, Abe Barnard and Jim Batsell; and a cousin, Laura Batsell.
Samuel is survived by his wife, Jennifer Childers Barnard and his daughter, Grace Lee Barnard; his parents, Jimmy and Kay Barnard; his brothers, Jonathan (Celeste) of Brownsville, David (Elizabeth) of San Marcos, Texas, Joshua (Amy) of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and s sister, Faith Barnard of Brownsville; his grand-mothers, Cecilia Barnard and Loddell Batsell and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, at Good Shepherd Community Church, 300 Morrison Road in Brownsville, TX.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Sam's name may be made to Big Red Ministries, 485 Stovall Rd., Brownsville, Texas 78520 or Good Shepherd Community Church.