Winnipeggers remember the legacy of Pastor H. H. Barber, prominent spiritual icon

By | October 25, 2020

WINNIPEG — People are mourning the loss of a Winnipeg spiritual icon, Pastor H. H. Barber, who passed away on Saturday at 98.

Barber served as Calvary Temple’s senior pastor for nearly half a century and was the host of Faith to Live By, a staple of Winnipeg television.

Pastor Jim Barber, the son H.H. Barber, said his father pastored all over Canada before settling in Winnipeg.

“He (went) to Ontario to pastor for a while there, then to Regina for five years, but in 53′ when he came (to Winnipeg), this became home and he has since made an enormous impact,” said Jim Barber.

In the early sixties, Barber decided to bring his church service to the television air waves and created the show Faith to Live By.

“His church board said, ‘look, if you can find the dollars to pay for this, great, but if it goes under that’s it.’ So from January 1962, he carried that all the way through to today,” said Jim Barber.

Jim Barber now hosts the show Faith to Live By, and it’s one of the longest-running television shows in Canadian History.

Pastor Bruce Martin, who took over Calvary Temple from H.H. Barber when he retired in 1977, said Barber was bigger than life.

“When you pastor somewhere for 40 years, you married the parents, you married the children, and maybe even the grandchildren,” Martin said.

“Lots of people had a wonderful reverence and respect for him.”

Martin said Barber had a wonderful creative spirit.

“He went out to the Whiteshell and bought the property in 1955 that we’ve come to know as Calvary Temple Camp on the shores of Red Rock Lake,” said Martin. “That was his push, he was a visionary.”

City Councillor Markus Chambers took to Twitter to speak about the passing of Barber.

He said growing up, Sundays in the Chambers household were for rest and reflection.

“We didn’t do much television watching back in the 70s and 80s on a Sunday,” said Chambers. “But if the TV was on, it was Faith to Live By, and we would listen to the words of Pastor Barber.”

Chambers said the work that Barber did in the community over the years is a testament to his character.

The family of Barber said due to the pandemic, only a small graveside service will be held for the family.

Jim hopes his father is remembered as someone who genuinely cared for people and who lived to serve God.

“We’re just glad that he went home to be with the Lord, and that his earthly journey is done, and that he ran so well.” 

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