Barney Cargile lives and ministers in Santa Rosa, California with Crossing the Jordan. He used to be the preaching minister at a church in Santa Rosa that supports Justin and Sarah Morgan.
Three years ago, I never would have pictured myself working in the ministry where God has placed me. For more than 30 years I had ministered among Churches of Christ. Now I spend my days rubbing elbows with drug addicts, the homeless and former prostitutes (both male and female). Two years ago, God led me from preaching for a local church, to working with Crossing the Jordan, a Christ-centered life transformation ministry for both women and men.
CTJ began about five years ago, reaching out to women who were victims of sex trafficking and substance abuse. Starting with only $600, the directors, Michael and Dana Bryant, opened a thrift store right in the heart of the “prostitute district”. This provided work for the women who wanted to change their lives and helped fund the ministry. God has provided in amazing ways. About nine months ago, we began a men’s program, and now have homes for men, women and grads. We also operate three thrift stores, a textile exporting business and a trucking company.
My days consist of teaching classes to men and women, centering on recovery and Biblical principles of transformation. Through the day, I meet one-on-one with each of the program members, as a counselor, chaplain, spiritual director and shoulder to cry on. What I love most about my work is witnessing God changing lives on a daily basis. Only His power and love could take these souls which are truly among the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40) and shape them into amazing servants of God. Large numbers have been baptized. I loved my 30-plus years as a preaching minister, but this is truly the most exciting adventure I’ve ever been blessed to be part of. I’ve been stretched and grown beyond anything I could have ever imagined.