The Apostolic Faith work in Korea also had its roots in the ministry to the seafaring men who came into the Portland harbor. Harold and Sally Barrett, members of the Portland congregation, were among the Apostolic Faith workers who visited the ships to invite the men to church services. They made many friends among the Korean crewmen, and entertained hundreds of them in their home.
In 1966, the couple traveled to Korea as guests of the Korean government, and spent seven months visiting churches and the families of the Korean crewmen they had become acquainted with. Shortly after their return to Portland, the General Overseer, Loyce Carver, asked the couple if they would like to return to Korea as missionaries. There was no doubt in their minds that this was the leading of the Holy Spirit, and they gladly accepted the challenge. Within a short time, they transferred their business to their son, rented out their home, packed their belongings, and boarded the ship that would take them across the Pacific to Korea.
On their arrival, the Barretts rented a house in Pusan and soon began holding services in the upper room of their home. Since the house was near the dock facilities, some of the seafaring men visited their services when they were in Pusan. Others who were away at sea instructed their families to attend. The very first service started with just three visitors, but the attendance quickly grew. The lady who delivered water to homes in the area was invited in to have some refreshments and was told about the Lord and His love. She wept her way through to an experience of salvation. Her husband had been an alcoholic for thirty years, but he found the Lord when he was at the point of death. The niece of a seafaring man was miraculously healed of tuberculosis through the prayers of the Apostolic Faith people, and she eventually moved to Pusan and lived in the Barretts’ home. One by one, lives were touched by the power of God, and the work in Korea grew.
One year after the first services were held in Pusan, the group had definitely outgrown the “Upper Room Church,” and a building was rented. Two years later, increasing numbers necessitated the move to an even larger facility. A Sunday school was started and soon more than 300 children were attending. Street meetings would draw 250 or more people who would crowd around to hear what was being said and to receive the literature being handed out. The Barretts also ministered in the prisons, army and naval bases, shipping companies, and hospitals. Early converts became established in their Christian walks, and began assisting in the services and various outreach efforts.
In 1972, construction began on the first permanent church building; the new place of worship was dedicated in Pusan on August 6, 1972. The work continued to expand. Many contacts were made through Gospel literature. Thousands of Gospel papers and tracts in the Korean language were shipped to Korea from the Portland headquarters, and the country was blanketed with literature that impacted many lives and brought whole families into the Korean churches.
In 1973, when the Barretts returned to Portland for a time, their beloved “children” who they left behind in Korea were heartbroken, wondering how they could go on. They turned to the Lord in earnest prayer, and the Holy Spirit began to rain down among them in a prayer meeting that lasted three days and nights. More than sixty-five people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and many believers were grounded in the faith. Today, there are second and even third generation Apostolics taking part in the work in that country.