Lena Barnes

Walton Children's Pastor

My story starts with my family. Growing up, I was the pastor’s kid and it seemed like we lived at the church. I went to Sunday School, participated in Communicants Class, and could tell you the facts about the Bible. My faith was really just a checklist of things that I saw my parents do. I missed the point that the Bible was meant for so much more - that I needed to get into God’s Word, so it could get into me.  At 17, I attended a youth conference where this chalk artist, Ben Glenn, spoke. He talked all about finding faith that moves mountains, while drawing this beautiful illustration with chalk. It was perfectly clear what I had been missing. I was on fire and wanted that type of faith, so committed my life to Christ.

In college, I met and married my husband, Shane. I uprooted from Jonesboro and moved to Loganville, leaving everything familiar and comfortable behind. For years, I struggled finding a church that felt like home. When we had our youngest son, Ridge, I knew our family needed a consistent church home. After visiting numerous churches, I fell in love with Graystone. Lea made this mama feel at ease and took the best care of my boys. Everyone was so welcoming, down-to-earth, and authentic.

My story continues with the big plans God had for me at Graystone. During the 2018-2019 school year, I was feeling burnt out teaching. I prayed constantly over my career and for God to reveal what was next for me. That’s when I got the literal call from Lea and the calling from God to become a Children’s Pastor at Graystone. I’m so thankful for Graystone and the opportunity to serve with some pretty great people!