Media & Adventist Benefits- The Best Known Citizen of Bermuda

“JOHNNY BARNES is the face of Bermuda, its most definitive icon, its most photographed tourist attraction.

…Every workday morning this 76-year-old former bus driver stands on this little traffic island, ruling the passing traffic with five hours of public affection. He bobs, weaves, grins, ducks and gives high fives to passing hands drooping from lowered car windows: “How you doing?” he cries. “I love you!

…Twenty-seven years ago he got up one morning and, impelled by a surge of religious enthusiasm (he is a devout Seventh Day Adventist), spent a pre-work experimental hour greeting commuters. It was a beautiful day. People liked it. So he did it again the next morning. And the next

….You must imagine what it’s like talking to him out there in the middle of the road, interrupted by loud outbursts of public affection and responding hoots from passing motorists: “The good Lord and I have been coming here for 27 years . . . I love you, you know! (Beep! Beep!) It makes them happy. What could be more important? I love you! Yes I do! (Beep! Beep!) It lets them know someone cares for them….

Soon, Johnny Barnes had developed a bouncy, vibrant, boxer-like dodge and weave that, mixed with kisses and shouted greetings, made for an uplifting start to the day for much of the island’s 60,000 population….”

From “Johnny’s been good for Bermuda” in the British Newspaper, The Telegraph  February 5, 2001.

See additional articles on Johnny’s witness and impact in The Guardian and Wikipedia.

By consistent, positive encouragement, without spending one cent, Johnny Barnes has blessed an entire island, and his story has circled the world. He is a simple reminder of the counsel we have had for over one hundred years–

“A true, lovable Christian is the most powerful argument that can be advanced in favor of Bible truth. Such a man is Christ’s representative. His life is the most convincing evidence that can be borne to the power of divine grace.

“Every day of life is freighted with responsibilities which we must bear. Every day, our words and acts are making impressions upon those with whom we associate. . . . The true follower of Christ strengthens the good purposes of all with whom he comes in contact. Before an unbelieving, sin-loving world he reveals the power of God’s grace and the perfection of His character. {Amazing Grace p. 263}

“The badge of Christianity is not an outward sign, not the wearing of a cross or a crown, but it is that which reveals the union of man with God. By the power of His grace manifested in the transformation of character the world is to be convinced that God has sent His Son as its Redeemer. No other influence that can surround the human soul has such power as the influence of an unselfish life. The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.” {Counsels on Sabbath School Work p. 100}

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