What is your husband’s name?
Apostle Eric L. Barnes, Sr.
What church do you preside at as the first lady?
Our local church is Royal Priesthood Ministries Full Life Center; we also have an international fellowship, which is Prayer Deliverance Fellowship International.
How many years have you had that title?
I have had this title two years.
Do you preach along with your husband?
Yes, I do preach alongside my husband. I am the co-pastor.
Does it seem like you are a pastor along with him?
Although I am the co-pastor, there is a difference in our roles. My husband is the chief apostle/senior pastor. The Word of God states in I Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” We as elect lady/co-pastors have to be careful that we don’t “get out of our vein,” meaning it’s wonderful to walk alongside our husband but we are his helpmate as Genesis 2:18 states. We cannot “shepherd” the flock but we can assist the “shepherd.”
What does it mean to be a first lady to you?
Being the first lady is a high calling, a great joy, a great responsibility, a great blessing and an honor. Although I have many titles and degrees including ordained pastor, those are all titles I worked for or went to school for, but being the first lady/elect lady is what God selected me to be. Being the first lady to me means to nurture, to mother, to uplift.
What is the most challenging part of being a first lady?
The most challenging part of being a first lady is having members who you have been knowing for years as friends, family or former church mates respecting you as the first lady,
What is the best part of being the first lady?
The best part of being the first lady is being able to labor side by side in ministry with my husband and to know that we’re on the same team. It’s my heart’s desire to help and support him, I support him through prayer, encouragement, respect and unconditional love.
Did you ever think you would become who you are today?
I wouldn’t trade my husband for anything, and so it follows that even though I didn’t expect to be a pastor’s wife, I wouldn’t have it any other way! No, not in a million years would I have ever thought I would be a first lady. I have been saved and working in the church since I was a teenager. I was always the one assigned to take care of the pastor’s wives. I was the personal adjutant to my former first lady for 25 years and the things I would see her deal with behind closed doors was amazing, some hurtful, some uplifting but nevertheless I could never imagine being where I am now. In fact, I never even thought of becoming a first lady.
How do you balance church and home life?
The balance between church and home life is actually pretty easy, Apostle and I have a day that we take Sabbatical once a week, we don’t do any church work and that is our “time” just for [us] to relax love [and] on each other. The other days we have “shutdown time”… we are always accessible for emergencies but we stop all work by 6 p.m. unless we both agree to work longer.
What is your advice to future first ladies or those who already are in the capacity of a first lady?
My advice to future first ladies or those who already are in the capacity of a first lady is:
a. To be a successful first lady, you have to understand your role in the church
b. Never get to “puffed up” that because you are the first lady you are better than anyone else
c. Always be humble and a servant, if an event is going on help cook, decorate be hands-on in the preparation, this speaks volumes as a leader
d. Confidentiality is vitally important; your members should always know that when they come to you for prayer or counseling it remains private
e. Lastly, know that the first lady can be one of two things to her husband: a help or a hindrance, do a daily self-examination to ensure that worthy of this honor. Be certain to always doing whatever outlined in his vision or mission statement for the church. Your husband’s ministry is only as strong as your marriage. Satan would like very much to sabotage your husband’s ministry by destroying or at least weakening, your marriage. Never, never, let bitterness poison your soul! Guard your marriage by pursuing a life of thankfulness, forgiveness and joy. Make sure that you always follow his leadership and not try to lead him.