“Princeton is my hometown,” stated Randy Barnetson. Barnetson has come back to Princeton after many years spent away. He originally left the small rural community in 1975 after graduating from the old high school that once sat proudly where the Princeton Plaza now resides.
Barnetson left Princeton straight out of high school and headed south. He knew exactly where he was going and what he was doing when he got there. Barnetson spent the next few years of his life earning his Masters Degree in ministry studies at Biola University in Southern California. From there, he leaped back up into Canada as a minister in Vancouver.
To those who have been in Princeton a while the Barnerson name may ring a bell. Randy was the oldest sibling of a large family. His birth was followed by five more. Cindy, Russell, Sandra, Kerry and Bonnie completed the list of Randy’s many siblings. “Our grandparents lived here and so did my mom and dad. In fact, my mom still lives here,” said Barnetson. “My mom is Joy Walker and she spends a fair amount of time at the senior centre. I am sure many people around town know her.”
Barnetson has come back home for two reasons. One reason is because there was an opening for a minister at Living Water Foursquare Church and the second reason is because he wants to be closer to his mom. He is replacing outgoing minitster Drew Lacey who left in August. Barnetson left Los Angeles, California to accept the posting, but has no regrets about moving north. “The sun was nice, but I am happy to be home,” he said. “It will be nice to spend some time with my mom and reacquaint myself with my old town.”
Barnetson brings with him his wife Cheryl. He has six sons. Aaron, Jared and Daniel are from his first marriage and Paul, Randy Jr. and Justice are the children Randy had with Cheryl. “I also have five grandchildren,” stated Barnetson.
For twenty years, Barnetson held his ministry in Vancouver before moving to L.A. for four years. “I knew I wanted to be a pastor right out of school,” Barnetson said. “I have enjoyed my time in California, but it’s not home. It’s not Canada.”
Barnetson has brought with him a very talented wife. Cheryl Bear is a musician and song writer with the credentials to prove it. Bear has won a multitude of awards. At the tenth annual Native American music awards, she won Debut Artist of the Year. This award is one of several aboriginal music awards. Bear’s Good Road CD garnered her three awards at the 2007 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards: Best New Artist, Best Songwriter, and Single of the Year. Bear plays the native drums and guitar. She travels full time around Canada and the United States.
While Barnetson and his family settle into life in a rural town in Canada that Barnetson is very familiar with, they look forward to their future. “There are lots of new things here and some old familiar things too,” stated Barnetson. “I recognize some faces and am really looking forward to my time here.”
Barnetson welcomes the public to his Sunday service at Living Water Foursquare Church every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at 38 Kenley Street.