Rick C. Barry - Low ResAs a young boy, author Rick Barry listened intently to his dad talking on a ham radio to people in distant lands. That experience fueled Rick’s dreams of one day visiting – and writing stories about – faraway places.

After studying French, Spanish, and German, Rick felt God calling him into Christian ministry. He would eventually add Russian to his multi-lingual vocabulary and take a job as Director of Church Planting Support at BIEM, preaching and helping in children’s camps in Eastern Europe, as well as assisting renowned Russian minister Georgi Vins.

Rick and his wife, Pam, have two children and three grandchildren. He is President of the ACFW Indiana Chapter.


Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?

Absolutely. In college, I studied French, and my major was Foreign Language Education. My plan was to teach French in a Christian high school. Then I heard a sermon by Georgi Vins, a Russian preacher who had spent eight years in Soviet prison camps before the USSR exiled him to America in 1979. He didn’t ask us for money, but he asked us to remember and pray for the freedom of both Christians and the Gospel in his homeland. So, I started to care and to pray for them. In 1987 I became Georgi Vins’s assistant. I’ve been involved with ministries to Russian-speaking lands ever since. In my “spare” time I write for publication.

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What started you on your writing journey?

A 1000-word essay on the topic of pride. While in college, I spotted a writing contest in a Christian magazine. It was Spring Break, and I had some leisure time, so I wrote up a little article and submitted it. My piece didn’t win, but the editor asked if she could buy my article anyway. I hurried to say, “Yes!”

Methuselah Project - Low ResLet’s talk about The Methuselah Project (Kregel, September 2015). Please tell us about it.

In this book I combined history with suspense, romance, and a light touch of the speculative. When fighter pilot Roger Greene gets shot down over Nazi Germany, his captors don’t take him to a POW camp. Instead, they reroute him to a secret facility where Roger becomes an unwilling guinea pig in a hush-hush experiment. The war may end, but not the Methuselah Project. Of course, I don’t want to include any spoilers here, but I mentioned romance. A young woman offers to help Roger, and she ends up with more than she bargained for.

What led you to write this particular story?

The 1940s and the war years have fascinated me since 7th grade. I’ve read countless true stories about ordinary men and women who were tossed into extraordinary circumstances and forced to deal with those situations or perish. But I also enjoy fiction with unexpected twists. Alton Gansky and Angela Hunt are two such writers I admire. So, instead of penning a typical military yarn or even a typical romance, I concocted a secret experiment, which combines both genres into a fresh, new suspense that both male and female readers have thoroughly enjoyed. One reviewer says my story has something she hadn’t seen in a book for a long time – charm. I like her conclusion!

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A few fun questions…

When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?

Typically, if my wife Pam and I are going to eat something special, we head to our local Mexican restaurant, El Meson. I love spicy food, and their homemade salsa is fantastic!

What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?

I wish I could say this is my life verse, but I can’t, because too often I have fallen short of this divine goal: Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Even as a teen who was lured by the world, I felt a need for God in my heart. When a friend started inviting me to youth events at his church, I went with him. In time I realized not only that I needed God, but that I could no longer be happy without Him. I returned home from church one Sunday and poured out my repentance in prayer and asked the Lord to save my soul and make me one of His own. He did! Since then I have grown spiritually, but too often I have gone down detours or even slid backwards in this journey. Yet, each time the Lord has guided me back to where I need to be.

In the story that is your life, are you the tall, dark stranger; the romantic lead; the mythical warrior; the mad scientist; or the child in an adult’s body?

Well, out of those selections, I might lean most toward the child in an adult’s body. Not that I consider myself immature, but — just like any kid — I enjoy getting out of my normal routine and going off for an adventure. This spirit has led me to climb mountains, to jump out of perfectly good airplanes, to prowl through deserted buildings near Chernobyl, Ukraine, the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster, to camp in the forest in Russia, and to enjoy similar getaways. I actually have decided to start acting my age — but not for about thirty more years!

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.

My wife and I have a dog named Lizzie. While I was away traveling for my ministry, Pam emailed her request for a dog to keep her company. I agreed “as long as it’s not a big one.” I pictured a lap dog. When I came home, Pam had Lizzie, who is part Labrador and part something else with long, soft fur. As you can imagine, she isn’t small at all, but we love her.

Thank you, Rick! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.

Thank you so much for the invitation. It’s been fun!

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For more information about Rick, visit his website, or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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