He Helped to Spread Light “to the Extremity of the Earth”
A keen desire to spread spiritual light was also evident in the devoted life and tireless Christian efforts of William Lloyd Barry, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Brother Barry died on July 2, 1999, while having a direct part in serving a district convention in Hawaii.
Lloyd Barry was born in New Zealand on December 20, 1916. His mother and father had earlier taken an active interest in the Bible truths presented in the publications of C. T. Russell, as distributed by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Hence, Brother Barry grew up in a devoted Christian household.
Though interested in sports and education, even earning a degree in science, Brother Barry maintained his keen focus on spiritual matters. Thus, on January 1, 1939, he took up the full-time ministry, becoming a member of the Bethel family at the office of the Society in Australia. After the government banned the Society in 1941, Brother Barry kept busy in office work, at times being assigned to write material for the encouragement of fellow believers. He also took an exemplary lead in the public ministry.
In February 1942, Brother Barry married another full-time servant. His loving wife, Melba, has faithfully worked alongside him all these years in many parts of the earth. They took a major step toward service in foreign fields by attending the 11th class of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead in the United States. Their assignment was to what many would consider ‘an extremity of the earth’—Japan. After arriving in November 1949, they began serving as missionaries in the seaport city of Kobe. At that time, only 12 individuals were preaching the good news in Japan. Brother Barry learned the language and ways of his new home and developed a deep affection for the Japanese people, with whom he served for the next 25 years. His love for those “rightly disposed for everlasting life” was clear to the growing Christian brotherhood in Japan, helping him to be effective in overseeing the branch for decades.
In mid-1975, when there were some 30,000 Witnesses in Japan, the Barrys were transferred to Brooklyn, New York. As a spirit-anointed Christian, Brother Barry had been invited to serve as a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Romans 8:16, 17) His writing experience proved very useful in his new role in the Writing Department. And his extensive branch and international experience equipped him to make a valuable contribution as a member of the Publishing Committee of the Governing Body.
Over the years, Brother Barry retained his love for the Orient and its people. Students in Gilead School as well as members of the Bethel family could be sure that his talks and comments would highlight heartwarming stories about many who had served in the missionary work. Kingdom-preaching activities at ‘the extremities of the earth’ truly came to life as Brother Barry enthusiastically recounted his own experiences. Some of these are mentioned in his personal account published in The Watchtower of September 15, 1960.
We are confident that as a ‘joint heir with Christ,’ Brother Barry’s interest in those “rightly disposed for everlasting life” will continue. Of course, he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him as a spiritual man, wholly devoted to Jehovah and having warm affection for God’s people. Yet, we rejoice that Brother Barry endured faithfully to the end of his earthly course.—Revelation 2:10.
[Picture on page 16]
Lloyd Barry and John Barr when “Insight on the Scriptures” was released in 1988
[Picture on page 16]
Graduates of the 11th class of Gilead, meeting in Japan after 40 years