Barry Ward presents Christmas
Concert at Hwy. 50 Chapel
Copeland native, Barry Ward returned to Southwest Kansas for a Christmas Concert Thursday, December 4 at Hwy. 50 Chapel in Ingalls, Ks. Barry, or “Bear” as he has come to be known by his friends, worked alongside his father and grandfather, working cattle and also doing farm work in Copeland. He writes the majority of his own music and those songs deal not only with his experiences as a cowboy and a farmer, but also a strong faith in our LORD and a love for this country. He is humbled by our wonderful American soldiers and Veterans who daily sacrifice for our freedom.
True to form, most of the songs at the Christmas concert were his own which made the concert a bit more personal for guests in attendance. Prior to the concert, everyone enjoyed a time of visitation and a great meal of chili, chicken and noodles soup or a spicy vegetable soup…followed by an abundance of home-made pastries.
I have covered Barry’s music and ministry since 2003 in Faith and Family, but my last story was in 2014, so I played a little catch up on what he’s been doing since then. Barry started his music ministry when he was 35, but he didn’t tell me how many years ago that was. He was born and raised on the family farm, just North of Copeland. He continued to live in that same farm house until he sold the farm and moved to Colorado. After 9 years in Colorado, they moved to Eureka, Kansas. I asked Barry if his lovely wife, Victoria, was still attending his engagements and he said that she never missed a single one because they’ve been living in an RV (Recreational Vehicle) full time for the last 12 years. During this time, Barry has shared his music and ministry in 31 states and 4 countries.
Barry never set out to win any awards. Most likely, he never even thought about them. Those accolades came anyway. Male Vocalist of the Year, Academy of Western Artists, Classic Cowboy CD of the Year, Rural Roots Music Commission, CD of the Year, Rural Roots Music Commission, Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee, Cowboy Artist/Entertainer, Western CD of the Year, Rural Roots Music Commission, Male Vocalist of the Year, Academy of Western Artists, Male Performer of the Year, Western Music Association, Song of the Year, Academy of Western Artists and Male Vocalist of the Year, Western Music Division of the Country Gospel Music Association.
In case you missed his Christmas Concert in Ingalls, you can catch him at the following: Sunday, December 6, Beulah, CO; Sunday, December 6,Pueblo, CO; Wednesday, December 9, Frederick, Co.; Friday, December 11 in Silt, Co.; Saturday, December 19 in Show Low, Az; Tuesday, December 22 in Enid, Ok; Sunday, January 3 in Tombstone, Az; Sunday, January 17 in Huachuca City (Whetstone), Az; Saturday, January 23 in Vail, Az; Sunday, January 24 in Hereford, Az; Sunday, January 31 in Tucson, Az.
For details on these events, check www.barrywardmusic.com. He also has a facebook page; barrywardmusic.
Highway 50 Chapel serving Southwest Kansas since June, 2020
Everyone driving on Hwy.50 between Cimarron and Garden City is familiar with the red building in Ingalls. It was a bar for many years, but this building underwent a major change in June 2020. For years, beer was the main product sold, but now it’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Organizers Larry Bilberry and Doug McGraw opened the Chapel to serve cowboys, farmers, ranchers, dairypeople and everyone else in Southwest Kansas. They do not call it a “cowboy” church, but they feel that “country” would be a better way to describe the atmosphere.
The chapel is a culmination of a “dream of a ministry for people who wouldn’t feel comfortable in a denominational church. Bilberry explained that God actually led him to open the church. He recalls that he called the owner of the building and she told him that she had just listed it for sale.
In a later conversation with Doug McGraw about the Bible study that McGraw was holding in his farm shop, Bilberry told Doug about the location in Ingalls. A few days later, McGraw called Larry to tell him that he and his wife had bought the building. So McGraw and Bilberry became partners in the Highway 50 Chapel.
They operate without a pastor, but they have different speakers and worship music weekly. They selected Thursday at 7 p.m. as a time for the weekly services so that it does not conflict with any “regular” churches which guests and members may have. You will find a list of upcoming speakers and musical groups in every issue of Faith and Family.
The dress code is “come-as-you-are casual.
While Thursday services are the present agenda, Bilberry adds that they are open to considering Sunday services and allowing the building to be used by area youth to use the building.
The physical address is 500 N. Rush St. (at Hwy. 50) For further information about Highway 50 Chapel, give Larry Bilberry a call ad 620-275-8218 or 620-272-1124. You can also find them on facebook and youtube.