Life History of
Evangelist Barbara Ann Kennedy
Minister of Music
Evangelist Barbara A. Kennedy was born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. She was the fourth of six children born to the late Lymas Leo Winfield, Sr. and Hazel Brown Winfield.
She was educated in the Coatesville Area Public Schools. In the early years, Barbara attended the Historical James Adams School from grades 1 through 9 and S. Horace Scott Senior High School, graduating in 1956 where she broke the color barrier and gained recognition of being the first black cheerleader and accompanist for the Meistersingers. While in high school, she played violin in the orchestra and organized an acapella girls quartet called “The Rhythm Larks”. This group won a singing contest on the local TV show.
Barbara grew up in a Christian home. She received her initial piano training from her mother who was one of the local piano teachers; then furthering her studies with Mrs. Goldberg. At age 14, she started playing for various choirs and churches in the Coatesville area. After the death of her mother, she transitioned to Philadelphia to live with her father.
In 1957, Barbara joined the Mt. Pisgah AME Church in Philadelphia under Rev. Mansfield Jackson. She tried to hide her musical talents, but God would not have it that way. She subsequently served as Music Coordinator of the church for over 50 years. She loved the hymns and sacred music of the church, she also enjoyed classical and jazz. Her favorite was acapella singing. Over the years, she organized the former Sanctuary Choir, the Attributes Ensemble and assisted in organizing the Excelsior Choir. She also sang with the Mt. Pisgah youth choir and the former Blanche T. Robinson Choir, the Victory Choral Ensemble of Philadelphia, the A.M.E. Mass Choir and the Philadelphia Mass Choir.
Besides her music ministry, she was involved as a Class Leader, Assistant Church School Teacher, Hospitality Ministry, Greater Works Feeding Ministry, Department of Visitation & Assistance (DVA), Lay and Bible Study.
In her efforts to gain job promotions she enrolled in Philadelphia Community College night classes aspiring to get a degree in Business Administration.
Her thirst for a deeper knowledge of God’s Word, she attended night classes at Philadelphia College of the Bible in Langhorne, PA while also attending a four-year course at CWICTI at Mt. Tabor Church, from which she graduated. She continued on at Manna Bible Institute in Philadelphia graduating in 2000.
Barbara’s working career has entailed numerous secretarial positions with OIC, General Electric Space Division, Temple University, Pennsylvania Trucking Company and a Mail Carrier with the US Postal Service. She retired in 1996 from the City of Philadelphia Water Department after 29 years of service in various departments ending as manager of the telephone information unit. Barabara enrolled in the Philadelphia A.M.E. Evangelism classes and in 2016 received an Exhorter’s Evangelism Certificate.
In July of 2017, she relocated to the state of Florida to live with her daughter. She united with the Mount Moriah Church where she played the piano for the choirs and ministered the Word of God as she was given the opportunity.
One of her favorite scriptures is Psalm 119:11 “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against God”. Her favorite hymn is “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus”. Barbara loved God and cooking for His people, and immensely enjoyed working for the Lord.
Barbara was called home to be with the Lord on April 29, 2020. In addition to her parents, Barbara was preceded in death by one son, Rodney Kennedy; sisters: Elisabeth R. Clayton, Beverly Winfield, Jean C. Eggleston and one brother, Lymas “Lee” Winfield.
She leaves cherished memories to her daughter, Natalie Kennedy of Florida, son, Jahra Kennedy of Philadelphia; sister, Marlene Winfield of Philadelphia; two grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and beloved friends.
Interment will be held privately. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara A. Winfield Kennedy, please visit our floral store.