Very early, I recognized that God had His hand on my life. At age seven, I invited Jesus Christ into my heart as Savior and Lord. Being so young, I later had doubts until settling the fact forever, claiming the promise of Romans 10:13, that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
A lifelong resident of Johnson City, Tennessee, I married the sweetheart of my dreams, James Barker—my best friend and encourager.
I began writing as a college student, working afternoons at the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, simply following a desire God put in my heart. After graduating, I accepted a full-time position at the newspaper, living my dream of a journalism career and earning much acclaim as a news and feature writer, often interviewing celebrities. My weekly column “Of Cabbages and Kings” was widely read, and my story on the death of a local soldier in Vietnam won the prestigious Associated Press Managing Editor’s Award.
An opportunity exceeding my dreams came when the newspaper assigned me to cover Billy Graham’s historic Knoxville crusade, which claimed national headlines when President Richard Nixon attended. I was chosen by the crusade’s executive committee to write a book commemorating the event, Billy Graham in Big Orange Country—my first book at age 24.
After leaving the newspaper to be a stay-at-home mom to our two awesome children (now grown), I co-authored several books, including Twice Pardoned with Harold Morris, which quickly rose to number one on the national Christian best-sellers list—an honor far beyond my dreams.
The Lord has also allowed me to invest my life for Him by speaking for women’s events and mentoring young wives. My husband and I served for several years as Marriage Enrichment leaders for Holston Baptist Association.
I can only say that He guided my steps, designing my life to illustrate Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” He plants the desires…and He fulfills them.
My soul desire is to walk daily in wholehearted devotion, declaring His praise through the spoken and written word.
My statement of faith…
I believe that God is the Creator and sustainer of the universe; that He is holy, sovereign, eternal; that He created man for fellowship with Himself and yearns for a relationship with us; that He sent His own Son to be the sacrifice for our sin and to reconcile us to Himself.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God; that He existed from the beginning; that He is equal with God. I believe that He came to earth, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin; that He was divinity wrapped in flesh, experiencing humanity so that He could fully identify with us. I believe the claims He made, that He was the promised Messiah, the Christ. I believe that His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection from the grave provided atonement for our sin; that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; that all who place their faith in Him as Savior and Lord will not perish but have everlasting life.
I believe the Holy Spirit indwells believers, teaches us, comforts us, and guides us in our daily walk; that He provides all we need for an abundant, fruitful, overflowing life.
I believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God; that it was God-breathed though recorded by men; that it is fresh and relevant for our lives today; that it is key to our abiding in Christ.
There is not a sliver of doubt in my mind that there is a place called Heaven and that I will spend eternity there because I have been adopted into God’s family through my faith in Christ.
Meanwhile, as I continue on this earth, I have the joy of walking in daily fellowship with my Lord, who communicates through His indwelling Spirit and His written Word and leads me moment by moment. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ is as real as my relationship with my husband, my children, and my friends. My faith is not a vague, wavering, mysterious uncertainty; it is a sure thing.