James, Barbara (Briza)

Follower of Irvine’s Omega Message

NOTE: This lady was the first Message Person to ever contact Telling The Truth Website. She provided much valuable information about the followers of William Irvine after he was put out of the 2×2 Church. There are not many Message People left–they are dying out. Here is her life story.

I am originally from Flint, Michigan. My family was a show business family. So naturally, we were the “Sinners” in the bunch on both sides of the family. And when I grew up, I rather imagine I was the worst of the litters in many eyes (out doing Jesse James). Fortunately, William showed me that as far as Jesus was concerned, my so-called sins were “their” problem, not mine, or I would have dissolved in a puff of murk somewhere, I’m sure.

My mother, my father and my aunt were in vaudeville and stars on radio; my aunt Dolores, on my Mom’s side, Dolores Farris, was a Zigfield Follies Star, and my sister, Doris, was a jazz singer. Of course, that’s how my life went, too. After I graduated I went to Pittsburgh, PA, then to New York, where I worked as a singer. I finally landed in Los Angeles, where I worked in nightclubs and then on stage and television, and finally ended up as a film writer.

My grandmother was the one who taught me about Jesus and who gave me my first lessons from the Bible. It was a happy childhood, until my Grandmother died in March of 1947, (the same as William). My mother died in March the following year, 1948, and my father died the next year, 1949. I was a couple months shy of 13 years old, and my whole family was dead, except for my sister. I’d know all about the “Ides of March,” if I were a superstitious person. My sister and I worked all over the country as singers until, finally, we landed in Los Angeles, and stayed until 1963, when we went to San Francisco, where she appeared for a while with Carol Channing in “Wonderful Town.”

My mother’s side of the family had a chromosome deficiency disorder that affected the females in the line. They were either so tiny, they had to have clothing specially made, or so huge, it killed them. My poor sister weighed 675 lbs. When she died in 1964! It was the most horrible thing I ever saw, it literally crushed her to death. By that time I had 4 little boys and was single, and heavy, and my self-esteem was so shot from the treatment I’d received, that I either never raised my eyes from the floor, or I had to be “in emotional disguise all the time to hide “Me.” William cured that, too. I promised my sister, Doris, on her deathbed, that I’d never let my weight get to the point where it killed me, too; and I’ve kept that promise, even to the point of surgeries to make sure it didn’t happen.

My children were illegitimate, which in my day, was the “sin of sins.” No “nice girl” had even 1 illegitimate child let alone 4! So it was rough. The relatives I had left on my dad’s side were in the deep South and extremely religious, Deacons & Baptists and Pentecostal. So you can imagine the treatment I got from them. At one point, when my eldest son, Mark, was a baby, he was in the hospital dying of meningitis. My dad’s family turned me away. So much for the Southern Baptist Christian heart. In the hospital, as Mark lay convulsing, red as a rose and gasping for breath, A Lutheran minister told me that a “bastard” child would never see the face of God.” I told him that he was the only bastard in the room. That was the beginning of my turning away from religion.

My Mother’s side of the family was much nicer, but they, too, died too soon, at least for me. I drifted, spiritually, from the day my sister died in 1964 until 1967. I tried everything and everybody from Buddah to Voodo, the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Scientology, Unity, Judaism, you name it. I even gave the Lutherans a chance. None of ’em wanted me and my “little bastards,” even though they put up a good show. It was all lip service. Profession without possession of God. So, I had a broad comparative base, when I heard the Message.

Finally, I said, “God, if you’re there, “show me where you are.” A month later, I wound up stranded in a sleepy little river town called Knights Landing, California. The woman living in the apartment next door, was Nancy Cusick’s aunt, Elizabeth Montgomery (now, Beth Tauzer) She “witnessed to me,” and, of course, I told her she was nuts, but I accepted the idea instantly, THAT God had sent a Prophet for today. I couldn’t read the Bible. I couldn’t even get past the begets. I thought it was boring. Beth and I became best friends. That seems fantastic now. I’ve gone through 3 or 4 bibles. Beth would talk about William and his Message, and it would go over my head, boring religious stuff, I thought. This went on for months.

We used to trade off housework, Beth would do my house and I would clean hers, just to break the monotony. (Her husband was in service, and I had no relatives and had left Show business to raise my sons, so we were both alone.) Once, when I was dusting her house, a framed photo kept falling over, it was an old person, white-haired, and sweet-faced-80 something. I couldn’t get past the eyes. Somehow I figured out it must be female. Anyway, it drove me so crazy, falling over all the time, I got a nail and hung it up by her front door. When she came back, I told her, “I put your grandmother’s picture up by the front door, and she said “Who?” And when I showed her, she laughed and said, that’s not my grandmother, that’s William!” Then it was my turn to say, “Who?” That time, when she witnessed to me I paid attention.

It wasn’t until months later, though, that I read my first letter, and that was because I was bored waiting for Beth to get out of line in a coffee shop, so I grabbed the first thing I saw that looked readable in her car, stuck over the visor; it was the letter to little Dorothy Dunbar. You can imagine how emotional it was for me to finally meet Dorothy on the telephone the other day. What a lovely, sweet person she is.

I asked God for a sign. Should I listen to this man? Was it Jesus leading me to Him? I loved Jesus, and I didn’t want to offend any ministries in all those religions I’d tried, in case, by some perverse quirk of Fate, one of them was right. It all seems humorous now, but then it was serious as cancer. I opened the book with my eyes shut and put my finger down on a page, when I opened them, it seemed as though I’d gotten a Telegram!! II Corinthians 6:1-4 “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you, also, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain, for He saith, “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of Salvation have I succoured thee; behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of Salvation, Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed.” (I took it very personally!)

I told Him I would find out whether or not William Irvine was The Prophet spoken of in Deut. 18. That was 30 years ago. One of the things I’ve found proved out was that William said it was possible for us to have an even closer relationship to Jesus than the Disciples did in their time. Boy, I wanted that! He showed me how to make Him my partner in every and all things. I went on to write and sell my movies, but it didn’t satisfy me, even to see my work on screen. The one I wrote in 1995, “Scorpio Suite” was due to be filmed in Bulgaria, the production company wanted the book to go with the Script. That’s when I found out about the partnership. I thought couldn’t write the novel alone and kept looking for partners, but no one worked out, then I read a letter William wrote on making Jesus our partner in all things, so I asked him to be my partner, and the book practically wrote itself. I didn’t publish it, and the war broke out in Bosnia, so they didn’t film it, and I knew that it wasn’t about my book or movie, it was about me discovering that no matter what it was, Jesus was concerned with every aspect of my life and would be there with me and for me.

There are so many things that have proved out to me. I believe what’s happening here between the ex 2×2’s is fulfilling Exodus 20:1 thru 6 and Isaiah 4: for all who branched off from William’s Alpha Message failed, but he is beautiful to many of us all over the world, and His Message through William as the Prophet will be Glorious during Tribulation days to 5% of the human race, (which William says is what God will get.)

I had a lot of help along the way, people that had been in the Message since the ’30s, (most of them have “gone home” now. Beth’s mother, “Granny,” Virginia Montgomery is still pretty chipper, and Delilah Walker, Hughes’ granddaughter, is in Iuka, MS. Of course, Dorthy Dunbar and her husband, Tony Babylon, are in Oklahoma, there are others, that I am trying to contact for the people in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, that have said they want to find people in their areas.

You can pass this along if you think it would be helpful. I ask no one to agree with me but hope that everyone can find the same love, peace, happiness and joy and freedom that we feel.

Love in Him,

Barbara (Briza) James
Sacramento, CA
August 8, 1997

Barbara J. James: Born April 20, 1936; died November 20, 2015 

Click Here to read another letter by Ms. James to the Editor of the Impartial Reporter Newspaper