It was just an ordinary Labor Day church picnic in the park for the First Pentecost Church in New Madrid, Missouri. However, this picnic was about to become far from ordinary. It would be a day that Sis. Wilma Barker, a Sunday school teacher since 1967, would never forget. Her pastor, Gary L. Keene Jr., said she was his teacher when he was five years old.
He explained the unique series of events on that special Labor Day. “Sis. Barker was eating her meal at the picnic when she began to feel nauseas,” said Bro. Keene. “She turned to a lady and asked for a cool cloth. They called for me, and we began to move her from the table to a chair, when she suddenly went limp. There was a gurgle in her throat, a breath, and she was gone. She had not been ill or had any medical condition we were aware of.”
He continued, “We leaned her back, and I saw that her eye was fixed. Having worked at a funeral home over the years, I knew immediately that Sis. Barker had died. Maria Allen, a saint and a registered nurse for years, checked Sis. Barker for signs of life and found no pulse and no sign of life. She started to do CPR but realized Sis. Barker was dead. She turned to Sis. Barker’s daughter and said, ‘She’s gone!’
“Not wanting her daughter to see her eyes, I placed my hand over her face and began to pray in tongues. Bro. Eugene Dominguez, missionary to Peru, began to pray with me. Everyone was praying in tongues, and the power of God was very strong. Suddenly, she began to come back to life. She couldn’t see us at that point, but said she heard the prayers going up as she came back. She didn’t have any after-death memories that she remembers, but attests to the fact that God brought her back from the dead. Sis. Barker was taken to the ER for precautionary measures. Vials of blood were drawn and tested, the hospital found nothing, and she hasn’t had any problems since. At least fifty people, including church members and guests, witnessed this miracle.
“Bro. Brian Norman preached for us the next weekend. And he shared the story. Many saw it on Facebook, and someone mentioned the story to a reporter. KFVS Channel 12 sent the reporter to interview Sis. Barker,” Bro. Keene said. “They came to us. We didn’t go to them. In fact, I spoke with the interviewer after the interview to make sure the church would not be portrayed in any negative way whatsoever, and she sent the script to me for approval. Sis. Barker is a very shy, humble lady, and that is evident by the KFVS video clip. God gave us a miracle!”