Pastor Curt Carter - Executive Director of Golden Key Prison Ministry "On September 18, 2014, Jesse Barrett joined Golden Key Prison Ministry as a prison ministry volunteer. He began his service at Broome County Jail sitting with Pastor Curt Carter on one-on-one meetings with inmates and attending the weekly Celebrate Recovery addiction program. He enrolled in and completed his chaplaincy program in the early days of his volunteer history to enhance the quality of his service to those incarcerated. Soon he also completed orientation at New York State's Elmira Correctional Facility to serve in worship services and other programs. More recently he has been certified to lead services as well at Tioga County Jail. Mr. Barrett has used his experience in working with those struggling with addiction in the prison system to launch a weekly men's support group at his church in Newark Valley, New York. In a little over two years, Mr. Barrett has accompanied Pastor Curt Carter on many visits to area churches, ministry training and community informational events to promote Golden Key Prison Ministry. He has also mentored with some individuals within the community after their release from prison. He has grown in his ability to communicate one-on-ones with those struggling with various addictions and other challenges, helping them to find Biblical remedies. He has been increasingly invited to fill pulpits in various churches as well as represent prison ministry. His call to pastoral ministry is becoming stronger, his research and presentation skills are becoming sharper and I have no doubt he will soon be pastoring a church as well as continuing with his call to "the least, the last, and the lost" of prison."
Bob Klock - Central Upstate's representative for Celebrate Recovery as well as the Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader both in his home church and the Broome County Jail. Additionally, he is CEO of New Life Station, Inc., a non-profit that serves men and women post-release, and is currently establishing a Christ-centered long-term recovery facility. "I have observed Jesse's humble and willing spirit as he has worked alongside me in the Broome County jail ministry, bringing Celebrate Recovery to the men. Perhaps just as Importantly, he has faithfully undertaken to provide one-on-one sessions on a separate day to men that have indicated a desire for consultation. I remember well his joy over the first man who enthusiastically received Christ at one of those encounters. I have watched with admiration as he has juggled a secular job, a family, programs in his local church, and multiple assignments in the jail, and all the while availing himself of every training possible in order to hone his gifts."
Rev. Cris H. Mogenson, M.Div. - Director of Jail Ministry Program, Broome County Council of Churches Coordinating Chaplain, Office of the Sheriff, Broome County, NY "It has been privilege to work alongside Jesse for over two years in the Broome County Sheriffs Correctional Facility when Jesse began serving Our facility through the Golden Key Prison Ministry. Jesse has shown great enthusiasm, commitment and passion for the ministry to the incarcerated, the returning citizen and the church community in re-entry outreach. Three major areas of ministry that Jesse has served in that have been most invaluable for the chaplaincy office have been the faith-based life skills classes for our youthful offenders (ages 16-17), visitation with adults and the Celebrate Recovery Program. Jesse consistently solicits feedback on his performance and has never once disregarded the policies and authority of the Jail Administration, the Council of Churches or the chaplaincy department, Jesse has been attending classes and has been very quick to participate in area meetings and read any literature which could assist him in grasping the larger context of correctional chaplaincy. Jesse has been very generous in sacrificing time, and time in ministry which could be spent earning a wage in secular work. Jesse has an optimistic and disarming presence as well as a good sense of humor which works with our anxious clientele. He radiates a positive nature, exudes a courteous and thoughtful presence, displays authentic empathy and practices direct communication skills which have been invaluable in helping him to gain respect from colleagues, officers, civilian staff, and inmates alike. Outside Of our facility I have heard nothing but positive feedback concerning Jesse's work with the Returning Citizens in the Celebrate Recovery Program, housing program and Bible Study groups."
Pastor Ben Baker - Senior Pastor of Newark Valley Baptist Church “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” "This quote attributed to D.L. Moody has inspired me for the last fifteen years. When I watch Jesse Barrett I see this phrase defined in a man who is called by God. Every facet of Jesse Barrett is devoted to serving God. His work at Lowes has allowed him a chance to share the gospel and see spiritual fruit. His work in jail ministry has brought some to Christ. His work in youth ministries at our church has allowed him to mentor marginalized teens. His service as a deacon has brought our church fresh ideas by evaluating what we do through a Biblical lens. His devotion to addiction recovery programs allows him to share the gospel with men that would never walk through the church’s doors on a Sunday. As he has taught multiple Sunday School classes he challenges students young and adult to truly think about what they believe. When he preaches his passion for God and others saturates his words and inspires his hearers to strive after the God he describes. But all of this comes secondary to his greatest work, his family. Jesse is a model husband and father. He worships with his family, serves the poor and needy with his family, takes time off to spend with his family, and thoroughly knows his wife and kids as a real man should. Most men usually excel in either their work or in being a family man, Jesse accomplishes both masterfully. Jesse is clearly called by God to shepherd people. He understands that ministry is not just in preaching, teaching, or administration, but in walking through life with people on a daily basis.”
Pastor Richard Lloyd - Retired Pastor "Since my retirement from Brooktondale Baptist Church in 2015, my wife & I have become members of First Baptist Church of Newark Valley. Jesse & his family are members at that church too. It was through meeting him at church that I came to know him about a year ago. Jesse has a deep-seated desire to serve the Lord in some full time capacity. He is very active in the Chaplaincy Ministry and also leads a Men’s Addiction Recovery ministry at our church on a weekly basis. He also goes out on weekends for various preaching opportunities and also speaks at different special occasions in raising support for his Chaplaincy Ministry. I have been in pastoral ministry for about 34 years and prior to that I worked in a Bible College that trains pastors and missionaries. I see Jesse as a very serious minded man who loves the Lord and wants to serve Him in a full time capacity. He is burdened for Chaplaincy Ministry and pastoral ministry too. All his training in preparation for the Chaplaincy will prove very beneficial should the Lord move him into a pastoral role . Realizing he has not been enrolled in an on campus pastoral training program, Jesse has enrolled in online training courses that could be used in preparation for pastoral ministry. He has asked me to listen to and evaluate some of his sermons he has preached so that I could help him improve in his presentation. The messages I have heard are very well thought through, are true to the meaning of the biblical text, well illustrated and presented in an interesting way. To the best of my knowledge Jesse’s family is well ordered, his children are well behaved, and his wife is supportive of his desire for serving the Lord in some full time service. I would recommend Jesse as a worthy individual for you to consider him as a pastoral candidate or associate pastor. While he hasn’t finished a pastoral studies program, I believe he has the determination to finish his on-line course of study. He is a good learner and as he goes into new situations he is not hesitant to ask his mentors for advice."