NORMAN BARNES (1985 – 2006)
Norman is the founder of Links International. He is now retired, but as previous director of Links International, he travelled to 50 different countries. His original vision for Links was established after a visit to Ghana in 1979 and he later founded Links USA, on whose Board of Directors he still sits.
Norman and his wife Grace led a church in Essex, for 31 years. Norman continues to preach and teach in both the UK and USA, to help people and churches find their destiny in God – especially in the area of missions.
Prior to her retirement, Grace acted as a consultant to Links International. She has traveled extensively, both with Norman and in her own right, leading teams of women to such places as Mexico, India, Burundi, Ghana, and Sri Lanka.
They can often be seen in the Links office and their insight is still sought and appreciated.
NORMAN’S RETIREMENT (2006)
When Norman handed the leadership of Links to Rich Hubbard on his retirement in 2006, he wrote to Rich. An abbreviated version of his letter is below:
I cannot think of anyone other than yourself that I would want to entrust with the ongoing work of Links International.
It has been such a joy to work with you over the last seven years and I believe that we have modelled something signficant for others to follow. I am so impressed with your commitment to the vision and your passion for the poor and your desire for a bigger vision than I had when we began. To be honest, I could not have envisioned where we are now.
You may remember that when we were at the Ground Level Leader’s Conference in April, Tony Miller spoke on passing things on and referred to 1 Chronicles 22:3 where David made provision for Solomon to build the temple. In that meeting, Tony called me out and gave me a nail as a token of what David did and now I desire to do the same for you.
I enclose the nail that Tony gave to me as a token of my giving to you the work that I received from the Lord in what we now know as Links International. It is with great confidence that I do this and to say that my desire is still to serve you and Links International in any way that I can in the coming years.
Yours for the Harvest,
RICH HUBBARD (2006 – 2010)
Links International CEO, Rich Hubbard, passed away after a battle with cancer on 25 August 2010.
PASSING ON THE BATON (2010 to present)
A message from the Links International Trustees:
Firstly please accept my thanks, on behalf of Links International, for your prayers and support through this difficult season. We were all incredibly saddened to lose Rich who demonstrated by the way he handled the last ten months of his life, that he was a real champion of the faith when faced with such a huge challenge. A friend commented to me that our loss is heaven’s gain. I’m sure this is true. It was incredible to join with so many to celebrate Rich’s life and to acknowledge that heaven now holds a truly remarkable man.
You will be aware that Rich had done an excellent job developing a team which was able to support the magnificent, ongoing work of Links – and hence as Rich’s health suffered, the frontline work did not. You will still be able to read the stories of lives changed and communities transformed. Rich left a huge legacy and a great platform to continue to see God’s kingdom extended all over the world with strong connections and relationships.
As a board we recognise that Links now requires someone to pick up the reins and carry the organisation forward into the next phase. Whilst we were still praying for Rich’s healing in the latter days of his life, we were able to have a number of conversations to discuss, with Rich, some of the possible options – one of which came to the fore and Rich was extremely positive about.
Some of you will be familiar with Andy Read who has been involved with Links over a number of years, travelling on Links teams and as a key figure in the Links Magazine editorial team. Andy has twenty five years of experience in church leadership and, through his changing circumstances, has found himself in the position of having time available to offer to Links.
We are therefore pleased to announce that Andy has agreed to take up the role of CEO. We believe he will do an excellent job and is the right person for the next phase. At this point the position has to be interim until we have had the opportunity to explore a full recruitment process. Andy will initially work two days a week, some of which will be based in the Links office in Littlehampton, West Sussex.
Norman and Grace Barnes have spent time with Andy and are also very encouraged that he will bring excellent experience to Links and help support and develop the team. Look out for the next edition of the Links Magazine for further information.
Please continue to pray for wisdom as we explore the future of Links and seek to honour our great friend and colleague, Rich Hubbard, in all of the choices we make. As we remember Rich and all that he taught us, it provides a great impetus, perhaps more than ever, to work closely together to make sustainable difference and to bring hope – spiritually and physically – to see the Kingdom extended and Jesus glorified.
Lynda has commented to me that she has felt so uplifted as a result of all the prayers. Please join with us and continue to uphold Lynda, Sam, Amy and the wider family as they learn to adjust.
Links International Board of Trustees Chairperson