By Bec Cranford
I sat down with Gabe Barrett from Mount Bethel United Methodist Church to find out more about him.
Gabe was living in Los Angeles four years ago after graduating from Auburn University, where he played football. His life was wonderful; he lived on the beach, and had everything he wanted. One day, he felt like God was pushing him to work with the homeless. Gabe did not want to go. He felt like people experiencing homelessness were drunks, lazy or drug addicts. Yet, God kept pushing him. Gabe called several ministries and agencies, but was repeatedly turned away – he told God “I tried.” But Gabe says that God had something more for him, so Gabe went and worked for a homeless ministry near Skid Rowe. His first position revolved around moving chairs and cleaning toilets. Gabe had some down time to meet people who were experiencing homelessness and his mind began to change. People weren’t projects to fix anymore, but were individuals who each had a story. Gabe had been working for four months when he got a call from a friend inviting him to minister in Atlanta. A large church needed someone to expand their work with the homeless community. The dream was to do a summer mission camp where young people engaged with God and with the city.
Gabe now works with students for eight weeks during the summer, as well as Spring Break and holidays. Students come in with expectations, stereotypes, and perspectives on Sunday and by the end of the week they are different people.
“That’s why I do what I do; for that moment of life change.”
Gabe wanted to have a ministry that was more relational focused. Instead of “throwing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the homeless and saying God loves you,” he wanted to eat with people and listen to their stories. Gabe brings over 500 teenagers a year to the Gateway Center. We are so grateful for his commitment to our mission to change lives and end homelessness.
I asked Gabe a couple of questions about himself:
“We are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere; we are called to Someone. We are not called first to special work but to God. The key to answering the call is to be devoted to no one and to nothing above God himself.”- Os Guinness
What kind of plant would you be and why?
I would be an evergreen so I could offer shade all year long.
What’s an awkward fact about you people don’t know?
I love professional wrestling more than any grown man should.
What do you do to relax?
I write, play football, watch wrestling and play board games.
If you could go anywhere where would you go?
The Hobbit, Screw Tape Letters, Sand Man comic series, and Toxic Charity.
What inspires you:
Matthew 25:40 – It’s really Jesus we are serving in every moment
Gabe is currently working on his fourth book – a children’s book called “The Adventures of Glippy the Gnome.” If you’d like to find out more about the M25 Mission Camp that Gabe facilitates, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.