Vital ministries often begin in small ways. In the spring of 1992 Pastor Dick Germaine, believing God had spoken to him, invited four pastors to join him in an experiment to test the possibility of pastors from diverse backgrounds coming together on a regular basis to build relationships based on openness, honesty, mutual respect, support, and accountability. They met every third week for 9 months. The result:

1993 

 

Experimental group becomes permanent

1994

 

Adopted the name, "John 17:23 Fellowship"

1995   Formed 2nd group
1997   4 groups in existence - Leadership Team formed - 1st Pastors Retreat
2001   6 groups in existence
2002   Barnabas Ministries incorporated - Pastor Dick Germaine becomes Executive Director
2003   1st Gift Day for pastors - part-time secretary Brenda Cappuziello joins staff
2004   1st Celebration Dinner
2006   11 John 17:23 pastors' groups in existence
2008   Bill Filmore joins staff
2009   John Bilowith joins staff
2009   Bill Filmore launches Barnabas Ministries, West Michigan, with 1st support group
2010   Brenda Capuzziello joins staff full-time
2011   29 groups in New England, 8 groups in Michigan (159 pastors in all)