Barbie hails from a small town in north Texas called Muenster. She was the second youngest of six children. Barbie’s older brother Tom helped her come to know Jesus Christ during her final year in high school. After her college studies Barbie became a registered nurse and worked for almost 25 years in the Dallas area. During her nursing career Barbie took numerous short-term mission trips overseas. By 1995 she desired something beyond just a two week trip. The next thing she knew she was on a team of 10 missionaries moving to the city of Vinnitsa, Ukraine, for a year.
It was at Barbie’s training conference for the Ukraine that we met. At the time I, Eddie, lived in Moscow and was the director of in-country training for the CoMission, a multi-mission evangelistic effort in the former Soviet Union. While we met during this training program, it was not until the end of Barbie’s year overseas that we got to know one another and fell in love. We were married November 23, 1996.
I grew up in Houston, Texas, in what we called “Third Ward,” a large, predominately African American section of the city. I came to faith in Christ at an early age through the faith of my parents and the regular influence of our church. My spiritual journey took off when I arrived at Texas A&M University and met The Navigators as a freshman pre-med student. After four years with The Navigators helping me to understand how to pursue a deep and satisfying relationship with Jesus Christ, I graduated and delayed my pursuit of medical school for two years to receive more training in discipleship. I taught high school Chemistry during those two years and then The Navigators invited me to join staff in 1980.
Between 1980 and 1989 I served as the campus leader for Navigator ministries at Tuskegee University and Memphis State University. From 1989-1992 I completed a masters of arts in New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and helped plant a Spanish-speaking church, Crown of Love Evangelical Free Church. It was after completing my seminary training that God swept me up in the CoMission.
After our marriage and a short residence in Raleigh, North Carolina, The Navigators invited us to move to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and join the National Leadership Team. This team leads 3,000 Navigator staff in the United States and more than 300 missionaries serving in 65 countries around the world.
From 1998 until now we have lived in Colorado Springs where Barbie utilizes her nursing skills and experience along with her passion for holistic health to serve the community. She also mentors young women spiritually, serves with me in travel and provides vital administrative support for me. I have given much time and service during these years to help The Navigators become an ethnically diverse organization that reflects the diverse nature of God’s Kingdom and the U.S. population.