The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Bruce Barry

Bruce Barry and 'The Roach Approach'

By Julie Blim and Lisa Ryan
The 700 Club – This guy knows a thing or two about bugs.

“In Florida we have palmetto bugs, better known as roaches,” says Bruce Barry. “I'm walking up to my front door, and all of a sudden this three and a half inch cockroach comes out of my garden, turns, and looks at me. I’m telling you, this one looked at me! Right there it hit me. I’m going to take three roaches, and they’re going to tell Bible stories.”

Because Bruce is one of those “visionary” guys, The Roach Approach is now a reality.

“I’m hoping that will trigger something in a child to find out more about Christ and about Bible stories,” says Bruce.

Bruce Barry's FatherDrawing cartoons is something that runs in Bruce’s blood. “My dad was a cartoonist for Disney, and my dad taught me all [about] cartooning ever since I was a kid. I started out doing Christmas windows in town. Then I started doing murals, bedrooms, signs, and truck lettering. It just kept growing.”

Barry never went to design school, yet his gift had him designing kids’ rides at the biggest theme parks in the world. He ultimately had a successful business, married, and yet there was still something missing.

“I was truly losing faith in mankind. I was just tired of everybody,” says Bruce.

Out of the blue, Bruce got a phone call…

“He said, ‘I’m a children’s pastor.’ I’d never heard of a children’s pastor before. He wanted me to design this children’s building. I told him no.”

Church was never a part of Bruce’s upbringing but he loved kids. So he decided to overlook the fact that the job was in a church. When Bruce took the job, he was ready for "those Christians".

"They’re going to ask me to come to church, what church I belong to, how long I’d been a Christian, and I’m going to tell them, 'Hey, listen. That’s for you, not for me. I appreciate it. Thank you, but no thanks.'"

Bruce was ready but he never got a chance to use that answer.

“Here I am, there two and half weeks, and not one person invited me to church, not one person. Not one person asked me what church I went to. Not one person asked me if I was Christian. But what they were showing me was kindness and love. I had never, ever experienced anything like that in my life. I mean, sincere -- the real deal.”

One little girl in particular sparked Bruce’s curiosity.

'The Roach Approach'“This 12-year-old girl comes up to me, and she says, ‘Mr. Barry, could you do us a favor? Could you draw me a whale?’ About five minutes into this whale, she goes, ‘Oh, stop, stop, stop. You’re not drawing it right. You have to draw it with its mouth open. Don’t you know the story of Jonah and the whale?’ I said, “No, why don’t you tell it to me since I’m drawing this thing.’ So she told me the story, and I was blown away. All of a sudden I’m looking around going, ‘So what’s up with the loaf of bread and fish?’”

Bruce connected with these people in way he never expected. The next day came “the question” ….

“’Do you want to take the Lord into your life right now?’ I said yes. All the pastors came around the table, and they put their hands on me. I’ll tell you what. I took the Lord in my life that day. It was the most incredible day of my life. I came off that ground six inches. I mean, I was floating!”

Then he remembered his wife Vivian…

“How am I going to tell my wife this? Is she going to divorce me? All of a sudden Viv started crying on the phone. She said, ‘You’re not going to heaven without me.’ We went to church that Sunday together.”

Bruce and Vivian have been growing in their faith ever since. Now churches make up the bulk of Wacky World’s business!

Bruce says, “My no. 1 goal is to reach kids for Him. Because I don’t want kids to be 40 years old learning about Jonah and the whale for the first time.”

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