A graduate of Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky, Kurt Barber was listed as one of the top 20 football recruits in the nation. Kurt was a “good teenager” who attended church every Sunday and was excelling socially, but knew he was missing something in life.
“I went to church every Sunday but found no lasting fulfillment,” he said. “I had a girlfriend, but there was still an empty place in my heart that wasn’t being satisfied. There was an empty void in my life but I couldn’t find out what would fill it.”
About that time he was faced with the big decision of which school he was going to attend, and decided to go to the University of Southern California where he kept hearing about a group called Champions for Christ. “I knew about the Lord to a degree and continued to grow distant in my relationship with Jesus. Finally in the spring semester I got fed up with my counterfeit Christianity. I decided I wasn’t going to live in anymore compromise or backsliding.”
Even Kurt’s Christian friends noticed a big change. Driving back from a ministry outreach, Kurt excitedly told Tom Sirotnak, “Tom, I know I’m called to preach! … I know the Lord is calling me to preach!” Kurt’s newfound fire became a public attraction, as he began sharing his faith in a dynamic way at a local high school hangout.
“I’m not the same man you used to know,” Kurt later told his friends. “Today, I’m a new man in Christ. Jesus has changed my life.”