Monte Cooley, founder of Barnabas, on the origins of the band: "The Lord put it on my heart to start a hard-rock Christian band in 1977, for evangelizing young people. At the time, I was unaware of *any* Christian groups that were playing anything that could remotely be called hard or metal rock; this was before I heard about Resurrection Band. "
Monte eventually left the band. But Barnabas went on to record some of the greatest Christian Metal acheivements of the early to mid 80's. They were highly controversial and took a lot of heat and criticism from several "Christian leaders". Barnabas broke a lot of ice for the heavy Christian music scene in terms of sound, appearance, and lyrical content. Their best known albums were "Approaching Light Speed", "Feel The Fire", and the lyrically controversial "Little Foxes". Known for their axe grinding guitar work and soaring female vocals, Barnabas were extremely talented. The final four members of the band were:
Kris Klingensmith - drums, percussion, lyrics
Nancy Jo Mann - vocals
Gary Mann - bass, keyboards
Brian Belew - guitar
The band broke up during the recording of "Little Foxes". Since then several of their albums have been rereleased...and a "following" of the band has been rekindled. Be sure to check out these Christian metal icons.