Sharon Barnes grew up in Colorado where her father pastored three churches. Prayer was always a significant part of her life. In her preschool years, she would walk around outside singing words from Annie Crosby’s song, “And He walks with me and He talks with me.” Sharon observed her parents frequently praying for people who were hurting. Then in high school, she was elected school chaplain and requested to pray before all the school assemblies and basketball games.
After graduating from Wheaton College, Sharon became involved in ministry by working with the youth in Christ Church of Oak Brook and in Young Life in Illinois. It was during this time that she met and married her husband, Paul Barnes. They left Chicago for Denver Seminary where, once again, Colorado became ministry stomping grounds for Sharon as she and Paul pastored churches up and down the Front Range.
In 1989, Paul and Sharon moved to pastor a new church in California, and Sharon joined the staff of New Life Ministries. One of her early assignments was working as the Director of Operations for the Dr. Fred Gross Christian Therapy Program, an inpatient hospital program in Buena Park, California, from which several other inpatient programs emerged. In this hospital setting, Sharon experienced the value of prayer as a backbone for aiding in the recovery of those who were hurting emotionally.
In 1996, New Life began to close their inpatient hospital programs and started the Women of Faith Conferences. Sharon transferred into this arena as the National Director of Ministry; helped New Life launch these conferences in cities across the United States, filling 10,000-20,000 size arenas with women hungry to experience a fresh move of God in their lives. She developed the prayer room for the conferences and networked with local city-wide ministry leaders to come and pray for the conferences as well as any women needing extra spiritual and emotional support.
In 2003, Sharon left New Life and became the Executive Director of Turning Point Counseling. In this position, she grew and managed the counseling staff from 15 to 30 plus counselors, partnering with over 60 churches in the Southern California area.
It was also in 2003 that Sharon became the Regional Prayer Coordinator over seven counties in Southern California for the National Day of Prayer Task Force. For seven years, she appointed county prayer coordinators and supported them in their endeavors to engage their city and community leaders in prayer for their city and nation.
From 2005-2014, Sharon rejoined the staff of New Life Ministries. She served on the Leadership Team and helped with strategic planning and implementation to enable New Life reach its ministry goals. She developed the New Life Network of Counselors to over 1,000 counselors nation-wide; managed the counselors and groups at the New Life workshops; and developed the aftercare phone-coaching program, which serves over 550 clients weekly.
Throughout all of Sharon’s ministry and work endeavors, prayer has been paramount. Her continued passion is to help people become more aware of the love of Jesus and experience the power and effectiveness of healing prayer in their lives. Her life’s mission flows from Isaiah 61:1-3, that is, believing God’s power is present and active today to bind up the wounds, hurt, pain and trauma of our lives and bring freedom and restoration through healing prayer.Weaving her aspiration and life’s mission together to bring healing and encouragement to others through healing prayer, pastoral care and support, Sharon founded Haven of Healing Ministry in 2014.