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Deacon Willie Barr

Deacon Willie Barr accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1985 and has been a member of Saint James Baptist Church in Woonsocket, Rhode Island for 21 years.

He has lived in North Smithfield RI for the past 30 years and is happily married to Deaconess Suzanne (Dufresne) Barr, his wife of 47 years. They have three children – Owen, Brian and Robin – and three grandchildren. Prior to his retirement in 2017, he worked as a Medical Technologist for Dominion Diagnostics.

Willie Barr graduated from Woonsocket High School and received his Associates degree in Medical Technology from the Community College of Rhode Island. His favorite past times are gardening, playing golf in the summer, and reading mystery novels in the winter. His favorite author is Patricia Cornwell.  Deacon Barr’s life verse is Ephesians 1:17-19

Deacon Willie Barr of Saint James Bapits

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your [a]understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

                                                            NKJV ~ Ephesians 1:17-19

In 1997, Barr received the Black Achievers Award from the YMCA of Greater Boston and knew he would be required to dedicate 40 hours to community service. What he didn’t know was that the sense of satisfaction and contribution stemming from that service would lead him to extend his volunteer efforts into 1998 when he volunteered his services to Saint James.

His initial plan was to work with the young men of the church and community. Somehow, he found himself in the Trustee Ministry for several years, eventually going on to become Chairman of that ministry.

Always interested in mentoring young men, Willie Barr saw an opportunity to put his skills to work in God’s Kingdom and, not having a strong religious background, decided it would be best to get an education in Biblical Studies. He would graduate from Liberty University of Lynchburg VA and continue on to study ministry at the Providence Bible Institute. Barr graduated in 2012 with a Diploma in Ministry.


Willie Barr was asked to join the Deacon’s Ministry in 2004. Realizing what a tremendous commitment it would be, he asked God, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to give him an outward sign that this was where The Lord wanted him to be. After several days of waking up at 3:00am, praying and reading scripture, Barr was led to the book of Luke, chapter 10.

It was then that he realized that God was leading him to the Diaconate Ministry.  The 3:00am wake-up calls stopped when he accepted the call.

God’s Will is always revealed when you Study, Read, Pray and Obey His Word.

In 2005, Willie Barr was ordained to the Deacon’s Ministry of Saint James Baptist Church. He was elected as Chairman of the Diaconate Ministry In 2015. Through his experiences, Deacon Barr has learned ‘whatever you do in life, do it for the Glory of God.’

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