Barry Smith

MNA Metanoia Prison Ministries Regional Director, Tennessee

After 30 years of serving in ministries in a variety of capacities Barry stumbled and fell hard. In 2007, during a time of depression and deep discouragement he turned to alcohol for relief and became an alcoholic. On his downward spiral he did things and hurt people in ways he never thought he would. As a result, he was divorced, deposed from the ministry, sentenced to five years’ probation, and for two years lived in an inner-city rescue mission.

It was during his time that Jesus began to reveal himself to Barry in deeper ways than he had previously known. He began to understand grace for even the worst of sinners, of which there was no doubt he was one.

In 2010 Barry moved to Miami and was remarried. Through the love, acceptance, and support he received from his wife and his pastor he was able to understand and embrace the love and acceptance of Jesus. With that, Barry has been sober since August 2014.

With sobriety came a reawakened desire to serve in ministry. But where can a disgraced, former pastor serve? In 2016 he was asked to teach a course for MINTS Seminary at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida City, FL.

At Dade Barry found men enlivened by the Spirit who passionately wanted to serve God and make a difference for His Kingdom. They were hungry to be educated and trained so that they could minister effectively inside their prison and in churches and ministries after their release.

In 2017 Barry was asked to become the prison ministry developer for MINTS Seminary. Since that time the program has expanded from three prisons in Florida to twenty prisons in four states. In 2018 Barry connected with Mark Casson and a partnership between MINTS Seminary-in-Prison and Metanoia Prison Ministries launched with a Seminary program at Walker State Prison.

Barry comes to Metanoia as a Regional Director working primarily with the mentoring program at Walker State Prison and exploring opportunities for Metanoia in the state of Tennessee. He continues as the developer for MINTS Seminary-in-Prison. He is excited to combine Metanoia discipling and mentoring with MINTS theological education and ministry training in a comprehensive program for prisoners.

Barry has a MA in Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and will soon have a MA in Theological Studies from MINTS. Barry and his wife Gail have eight children and five grandchildren between them. They live in Hixson, TN, just north of Chattanooga.