Adam Barnett, 44, started at Adult & Teen Challenge 11 years ago, becoming kitchen supervisor seven years ago, but his connection to the organization dates back much further.
“Actually my father [Pastor Roy Barnett] helped start this program,” Adam explained.
Pastor Barnett was ATCOV’s first executive director and Adam’s late mother, Cathy, was the pastor’s executive administrator.
For Adam’s first four years with ATCOV, he delivered food prepared at ATCOV to other organizations that contracted for the service.
His time at ATCOV though is much more than just providing physical nourishment for agency clients.
“I love this place,” he said. “I feel like it just became a part of me. My name is the last of the Barnett name in this Teen Challenge.” Where he works in the kitchen allows him a lot of one-on-one time with clients. “I have the unique opportunity to get to work with the ladies and the men,” he said. “I can spend the time down here to have one-on-one ministry time working and preparing food and I get to show them a little something: how to do things, how to work with a knife, how to season food, how to cook food. It’s just been a little blessing to me.”
His father left ATCOV to take care of his wife when she became ill, tending to her through her last days. “That’s why I’m still here,” Adam said. “I feel like I’ve got to keep that legacy going.” His family ties to ATCOV are just part of why he’s remained there for so long though. “I do love what I do and I love working with the men and the ladies,” Adam said. “It’s just really fulfilling to get to do that…I love to do what I do.” When someone comes into the kitchen and is having a rough time, Adam tries to brighten their day and lift them up.
“A lot of times, they come down in a bad mood and by the time they’re leaving here, they’re in a great mood,” he said. “So I get to just pour into them.” Adam also enjoys working in the Christian environment afforded at ATCOV. “I’ve worked at many different places and there’s nothing like this experience that you get from working in ministry,” he said.