Lawrie Barnes was born in East London and gave his life to the Lord at age 10. Jean was born in Sandringham, Johannesburg, and first came to know the Lord in 1974 at the age of 24. Lawrie is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Modern languages at the University of South Africa. Jean has a Master’s degree in Plant Physiology from the University of Natal, Pietermartizburg, but since the children were born she has pursued her innate talent as a one-on-one teacher of mathematics. They met as lecturers at the University of Durban-Westville.
Shortly after they married, they moved out of their traditional churches into the Charismatic Renewal movement. When they moved to Pretoria in 1984, they joined the Hatfield Christian Church where they served as cell leaders for a period of 10 years and later became involved in the prayer ministry.
They have two children: Simon, an electronic engineer, who is married and has a two-year-old son, and Gwendolyn, who was one of the initiators of worship dance in Emet Ministries, before she took up a scholarship to Cambridge University in the UK. She was invited to dance at the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles Celebrations in Jerusalem in 2013. She is currently working for ThinkTank Maths in Edinburgh.
Jean’s love for Israel and the Jewish people was birthed when she worked as a volunteer on Kibbutz Shaar Hagolan in the Galilee in 1976. Their passion for Jewish ministry was ignited when the family went on a prayer tour to Israel with a cell group from Hatfield Church in 2001. Jean & Lawrie first became involved in Emet Ministries in 2008 and have been members of the Leadership Team for the past four years. They are also involved in the Dance Team.