From coast to coast, two of God’s choicest saints received an overcomer’s crown today. Barbara Simmons, beloved wife of senior DC intercessor Dick Simmons, was summoned to glory just before dawn this morning. We just received word that Carol Garlow, wife of San Diego pastor Jim Garlow, went to be with Jesus this afternoon.
The spirit and legacy of each remain so much larger than life. They are profoundly similar. Carol and Barbara literally gave their lives as intercessors for their cities and nation. Both endured great suffering from illnesses that sought to define their latter years. Facing death numerous times, neither yielded–that is, until summoned by the Lord today.
It is poignant that flags from coast to coast remain at half mast. As America mourns the victims of the Boston tragedy, I believe the angels of this covenant land are also honoring the incredible investments of these legacy-makers. Please pray for the Simmons and Garlow families. Pray also for the broader family of Skyline Church, pastored by the Garlows.
And pray for the Nation, which these saints of God both loved so much. I heard from a very reliable source that a double portion is coming! Below is the posting I was finishing when word of Carol’s passing came.
TEXTS FROM FRIENDS ABOUT BARBARA
I’ve spent much of the morning with Dick Simmons. For more than 30 years, they have poured their lives into intercession for Washington DC and America. In the process, they pioneered a movement of governmental prayer. As a mother and father to the movement, they are honored by James Goll, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, Dutch Sheets, and others for their mentoring.
Many know that their final decade together was marked by a relentless fight for Barbara’s life. We’ll share more on this in a moment. But first I want to share a few spontaneous tributes about her life from text conversations today.
Cindy Jacobs: What a life to be celebrated!
Dutch Sheets: Barbara Simmons left a high standard indeed for those of us trying to make a difference. She has blessed us with a sweet fragrance, blazed a clear trail, and left us a legacy we’ll all strive to continue. Thank you Barbara. We will miss you.
James Goll: I just dreamed about her (Barbara) flying a couple of nights ago. She sprouted wings and flew away, into a land where all dreams come true! She joins my dear Annie that I still love and miss.
Jason Hershey: Barbara had a zeal for Jesus that couldn’t be quenched.
Jason Hubbard: I remember Dick saying, she always felt her assignment from the Lord was to teach people to love.
Abby Abildness: Her assignment was to teach people to love… her mantle is falling on many.
I was honored that Dick Simmons took some time this morning to share with me about his bride and their lives together. Dick told me about an impression Sen. Sam Brownback had of Barbara praying, and Dick standing on her shoulders sharing the word of the Lord.
Together they literally changed the course of history. Here are just a few stories.
BACK IN THE DAY, Dick and Barbara lived in NYC. They opened their home to a young evangelist, encouraging him to try television to preach the gospel. Pat Robertson eventually got the message…
Also while in NYC, in 1958, Dick and Barbara became grieved over the senseless slaughters of relentless gang fights. They prayed nonstop, and Dick felt strongly impressed to call a young Pennsylvania pastor and compel him to come to New York City and help. That young man was David Wilkerson, who went on to found Teen Challenge, Times Square Church, etc.
A dear pastor from Burundi, Africa told me this morning about how she was touched powerfully by an Aglow, Int’l meeting in her home country. Recently she had felt compelled to help provide much-needed personal care for Barbara.
What compelled her? Turns out that when Dick and Barbara lived in Washington State, Barbara opened her home to a few pioneering friends. The ministry now known as Aglow Int’l, touching the nations, was birthed in their basement!
From 9-11 to Boston: Fighting for Freedom
To me it is extraordinary that Barbara’s journey began with the 9-11 tragedy, and culminated just after the Boston tragedy. These two defining moments were both catalyzed by radical Islamic Jihadists, seeking to destroy the very foundations of our freedom.
In the summer of 2001, Barbara felt an overwhelming sense of urgency to fast and pray for the Nation. The Lord had highlighted 9-11, September 11, so she picked this date to culminate this 40 day fast.
During this time, Dick and Barbara spent themselves in prayer from their home across the street from the Capitol and Supreme Court. To this day, Dick ardently believes that Barbara’s prayers averted a greater disaster–including a plane crashing into the US Capitol.
According to Dick, the enemy struck with vengeance against them in the days following. Dick’s life was nearly taken, and Barbara’s own freedom suddenly became greatly restricted through a debilitating illness. She battled Alzheimer’s for more than a decade, until her passing today.
Again, it is more than notable that Barbara’s final journey of prayer began with 9-11, and ended the week of the Patriots Day bombings. As Dutch Sheets poignantly commented, “She has blessed us with a sweet fragrance, blazed a clear trail, and left us a legacy we’ll all strive to continue.”
And now more than ever, this great legacy forged by both Carol and Barbara are needed. Covenant blessings to each of you,
Jon & Jolene