– Submitted by Islands Community Church
Islands Community Church welcomed Pastor Carlos Barrios Gonzalez to San Juan Island this summer. Pastor Barrios and his family moved from the North Chicago area where he had been working towards a Masters of Divinity degree for two years. He holds a bachelor of arts in Christian Ministry from Trinity International University and is a candidate for a masters of arts in Christian Studies at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Pastor Barrios has also had the opportunity to take classes towards a Doctorate in Ministry degree through Knox Theological Seminary.
Carlos came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1980; his wife Marysol, originally from Colombia, lived in New York before moving to Miami. Carlos and Marysol met in Miami and were married in 1993. Their oldest daughter Pattris was born in Florida; their three other children were born in Texas. All six family members are now living here on the island. Their oldest son Jonathan is working to save up money to finish college and his younger brother Jordan is working on finishing his high school through Griffin Bay. Valerie, the youngest, is a junior at Friday Harbor High School and part of their varsity girls’ soccer team. In Texas, Pastor Carlos served in church planting and started three Hispanic churches in the Southern Dallas area while he was attending the Criswell Bible College. In 2001, they moved closer to their families and Carlos had the opportunity to be co-pastor and youth pastor in Miami Lakes, Florida, where he was later ordained as pastor. Pastor Carlos understood the call; after all, his grandfather spent eight years in a Cuban prison because the Castro Regime saw all church leaders as enemies of the state. This has always served as motivation for the Gonzalez family to boldly speak about their personal faith in Jesus Christ and led the men in the family to follow their grandfather’s footsteps. Currently Pastor Carlos’ uncle serves as a pastor in Cape Coral and his younger brother serves in Miami. The Barrios family is enjoying living in Friday Harbor and feels blessed to be serving in such a beautiful place. They would love the opportunity to meet you and would love for you to pay them a visit at Islands Community Church, Sundays at 10 a.m. Pastor Carlos feels very encouraged about the opportunity to teach and share Gods’ biblical truths with us. “This is the reason I am here;” he says. “I want others to come to know the truths of Gods’ Word and to begin to live by them. Knowing God has had such an amazing impact on my life and has made such a difference in my family, I want others to come to know Him too.”
In addition to being very passionate about his ministry opportunity, Pastor Carlos also enjoys physical activities like hiking and exploring. No, he won’t be able to play pond hockey like he did in Chicago. However, he will find more than enough to keep him busy.