“What brought you to Oklahoma?” is the first question everyone who moves into the state is asked. For Chuck Barrineau, he never thought he would have to answer it. Born and raised in South Carolina, Chuck thought he would die there as well, but God had different plans when He brought Chuck to the southwest 10 years ago.
After receiving a request from Bishop Randall Drake, Chuck did a phone interview which went “surprisingly well.” The next day, Chuck was asked to fly out for a more formal meeting. Thinking he and his wife, Stephanie, could at least take a fun trip to Dallas while visiting, they flew out. Even though it had not been on their radar, they immediately knew that “this was it,” and Chuck began serving a church in Durant that had recently undergone a devastating event with its leadership.
Chuck is a 3rd generation PH. The church he attended while growing up was a bit of an “outlier” and very traditional. It was not until a visiting pastor, who was absolutely nontraditional, came that Chuck felt called by God and “released” to go into ministry at just 15 years old. This pastor recognized this call and showed Chuck how to prepare and deliver messages and gave him his first opportunity to preach.
While attending Emmanuel College, Chuck felt that he was meant to plant churches, so after graduating, he partnered with the South Carolina Conference and a mega church. After two years, Chuck realized he “stunk” at it. However, another opportunity came to him when his home church needed a pastor. It was a challenge because the church was about to be closed, but Chuck accepted the opportunity. Within the first 6 months, the attendance grew from 19 to 110! This experience showed Chuck that he had a gift for revitalizing and restoring churches.
After a few years in Oklahoma, Chuck and his family were called to pastor Harvest Church in Sand Springs (near Tulsa), Oklahoma, where they have been for the last 4 ½ years. His wife is one of the worship leaders, their sons participate in worship as well, and their daughter provides the comic relief.
As a pastor and person, Chuck believes in loving people wherever they are. He does not allow others’ opinions to influence how he serves his congregation as seen in two special events during his pastorship.
While in Durant, Chuck was preaching on purpose: what he calls “your more” from God because God has more for a person than they are currently experiencing. After the sermon, an older couple made the decision to become foster parents. They soon welcomed a newborn whose mother had lost parental rights, and they felt they should adopt her. Next, they fostered four siblings, and they adopted them as well. Chuck then had the privilege of dedicating all 5 children one Sunday during service.
Another instance occurred when a person struggling with their gender identity visited. They continued coming week after week after week. About 6 weeks later, they signed up to be baptized sharing with Chuck that attending his church encouraged them to quit drugs cold turkey. “Her baptism and coming to faith in Christ allowed her church community to see her in a new light, and she became part of the family with everyone praying to God to do something spectacular in her life,” shared Chuck. Through this acceptance and her new faith, she was able to affirm her birth identity.
In both instances, Chuck simply strove to love and support his members regardless of what others thought. As cliché as it sounds, he believes that these stories show our need to expect the unexpected; God is always working, and we never know who we might encounter or how God will use them, or us, to impact others.
New Horizons Conference Superintendent Randall Drake shares, “Pastor Chuck Barrineau is truly a man after God’s own heart: he desires what God wants and seeks God’s will for decisions in his life. As a pastor, he preaches the Word, prepares his sermons diligently, equips other leaders, releases equipped members into ministry, visits the sick and elderly, loves people and wants to be the best he can be. Pastor Chuck is the New Horizons Ministries School of Ministries Director, an elected member of the Conference Executive Council, and is very involved in mentoring other pastors in the HGM program. He has begun his Graduate School work (MA in Global Leadership) at Southwestern Christian University and is a life-long learner. Pastor Chuck’s great wit, loving personality, friendly demeanor and servant heart provide the foundation for being an effective pastor. I count Pastor Chuck as a close friend, a confidant and a learned colleague. He is definitely ‘one of the good guys!’”
A major tenet of Chuck’s church mission is honor: honor everyone, everywhere, every time. One of Chuck’s favorite scriptures, Proverbs 3: 5-6, builds upon this as well: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Through honor and trust, Chuck has helped grow the kingdom of God with relationships and restoration.