Reverend J. Randolph Barnes is a product of the Knightdale/Wendell area. He was born to the late Jurnel Archie and Mae Golia Barnes in Auburn, North Carolina. He is married to the former Jannet Bobbitt. They are the parents of eight children: Maurice, Christopher (Brandy), Janelle, Jaremas (deceased), Demetrus, Antiwon, Latrice and Keyara. They are the proud grandparents of: Brittney Nicole, Ian Lee, Isaiah Je’Re, Niyah Simone, Destiny Amaya, Summer Cantrell,Tyreek D’twon, Latrell and Keyadrian.
He is a graduate of Shaw University and Shaw University’s Divinity School. Deeply rooted in his relationship with God, he was licensed andordained by the Riley Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Wendell, N. C. There he served in various positions.
Reverend Barnes is an educator of God’s Word. As a result of this, he has established or maintained Bible Studies at: Riley Hill Baptist Church, Zebulon First Baptist Church, Macedonia Baptist Church,Wakefield Baptist Church, Gesthsemane TruevineHoliness Church and Community Bible Study. Reverend Barnes was called to Shepherd the Flock at Stokes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in December 2000.
The Stokes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church reflects a rich heritage of faithful people divinely guided to build a church to worship together. On October 23, 1888, two acres of land was purchased for twenty-five dollars by the Colored Missionary Baptist Society of Nash County from C. J. Strickland and his wife. Trustees of the society were T. S. Stokes, Robert Bisitte, Ashmeal Morgan, and Nealous Fort. The first church was destroyed by fire shortly after it was erected. A determined people, the church membership decided to rebuild the church immediately. Believing that God would continue to guide them, the members of the community built the church to be thirty feet wide and forty feet long. Theodore S. Stokes, a life long member of the church gave timber to rebuild a new church. The church was then named in his honor-- “Stokes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.”
The Middlesex community population was scarce at this time and interest toward the development of the church somewhat dwindled. However, T. S. Stokes continued through faith to encourage others to attend the church. God heard his prayers. By 1909, the Middlesex community had increased. The membership of the church increased also.
Early pastors were Reverend George W. Perry, Reverend N. W. Watkins Reverend Clarence Dunn, Reverend N. W. Williams, Reverend Smith, Reverend S. H. Witherspoon, Reverend A.A. Morrisey, Reverend Avery Horton, Reverend W. H. Burrell, Reverend B. H. Closs, and Reverend J. T. Dunston each of these leaders contributed to the spiritual growth.
In November 2000, Reverend J. Randolph Barnes was elected to the pastoral ship of Stokes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Energized with the Holy Spirit, Reverend Barnes has encouraged the growth and development of all facets of the church. He has exerted divine leadership in encouraging love and fellowship among members. He has stressed the importance of members uniting to do God’s work. Membership has also increased during Reverend Barnes’ leadership.
Finally, Stokes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church is a sacred and blessed place. Our members are God’s people. Not perfect, but diligent in the quest to see Our Savior face to face. United as brothers and sisters in Christ, we will collectively seek to win other souls to Christ and we will, by faith, accomplish our mission and remain steadfast, unmovable, in holding up the Name of Our Heavenly Father.