After 20 plus years of playing football, with the last ten of those years playing at the very top (NFL) 1976-1985, I really didn’t think life could get any better. I had confidence of going right into coaching in the NFL which was my whole life (or so I thought).
Walking into a prison against my wishes, only doing it as favor for a friend of mine, my whole world was turned upside down. My whole world was not just turned upside down, but it was changed forever. My love for football was no longer my heart. Prison became my first love, after Christ.
The last 6 years of my NFL career, I spent my off seasons going into as many prisons as I could possibly enter. Not once did the thought hit me that I would live the rest of my life going in and out of prisons sharing the Good News that Christ forgives and He forgets all of our past.
Since getting delivered from the NFL, having 6 years with the Oilers and 4 years with the Rams, (most call it retirement) in 1985, the Mike Barber Ministries has been a 501c3 tax exempt ministry. I can truly say with all my heart that the NFL’s best can’t touch the joy and honor that I live in today. The last 30 years of walking into the worst of the worst to share the love of Christ has fulfilled me more than anything else.
Over the last 30 plus years, our ministry has traveled into every state and a few different countries. Today, our ministry still travels all over the country. I have been honored to have my son, Brandon Barber, work beside me for the last 10 plus years. Brandon also Pastors Elevate Church close to downtown Houston.
“As you have done it even unto the least of them, you have done it unto Me.”
The backbone of our ministry is going cell to cell as the Bible says, “As you have done it even unto the least of them, you have done it unto Me.” I can truly say that I have never experienced a moment where I felt like it was work because of my love for the inmates. As it takes teamwork to win in the NFL, it takes teamwork to win in prison ministry. Inmates can’t support us so we must have people support this prison mission work.
Over the years, I have had the awesome privilege to go not only into prisons and speak, but also Churches, Sporting, Corporate, Youth, and Senior events. I would love to share my passion for people with you.