At 10 am, on Friday, December 11th of 2020, four dozen Christians gathered at St. Sebastian’s Serbian Orthodox Mission Parish in Carson City, Nevada, in the funeral service and pay their last respects to their dear spiritual leader, Very Reverend James Barfield. In attendance were many spiritual children and friends, including parishioners from both the Greek and Russian churches in Reno. He was well known and loved by many in the area. One could not escape the sense and feel of love and respect so many had for Father James. Many knew that he was always there for any of them, anytime day or night. Despite his untimely passing, after 67 years on this earth, he has left behind a spiritual foundation and community that supports Northwest Nevada and was two decades in the making. It is to his great missionary zeal and credit that St. Sebastian became the first Christian Orthodox Parish in Carson City, the capital city of Nevada.
The funeral service was blessed by the attendance of Bishop Maxim, of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America. He provided great consolation to all and gave a moving homily on the life of our Father James. He highlighted Father James spiritual awaking at the age of 10 and his work with prison ministry that included the baptism of prisoners at Lovelock Prison in Nevada. Also attending were Father Stephen Karcher, from St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church in Reno, Father Andre, from Holy Royal Martyrs Russian Orthodox Church in Sparks, Father James Steel and Father Michael from St. Elias Russian Orthodox Church in Diamond Springs, California (south of Placerville).
Shortly after noon, Father James started his final seven-hour journey to St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California. He was buried on Saturday, the 12th of December within the Trinity Alps. A truly fitting place, where even the deer come and rest. Despite forecasts of snowstorms, the day was full of sunshine. All in attendance agreed that it was the perfect place for Father James’ final resting place. Abbott Damascene, the monastic priests, and brothers, as well as the Mothers from St. Xenia Skete attended the burial. They provided a well-deserved tribute to a man who searched, found, and lived the truth as called to all by our Savior. While he will be missed, his impact on the lives of many will not be forgotten.
May his Memory be Eternal.
Source: Western American Diocese