Montreat, located near Asheville in western North Carolina, is one of three national conference centers of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Barber, a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, began a business career in the mid-1970s. Responding to what he has identified as God’s call, Barber left a CPA firm in Memphis to develop an affordable retirement community in Blytheville, Ark., as the president and CEO of the Presbyterian Development Corporation. After serving in that capacity for eight years, in 2003 he became vice president of finance for Cooperative Retirement Services of America in Memphis.
As Montreat president, Barber succeeds Emile H.Dieth Jr., who resigned Feb. 18 after serving five years. Jim Henderson has served as interim president.
“George impressed the search committee with his financial training and business experience, his long involvement with Montreat’s programs, and his passion for our conference center ministry,” said W. Brinkley Melvin of Chapin, S.C., chair of the search committee and vice chair of Montreat’s board of directors. “He is responding personally and unconditionally to God’s call to preserve and to uphold Montreat’s mission for the generations to come.”
Barber’s specific involvement with Montreat Youth Conferences began in 1990 and has included assignments as a planning team member in 1998 and a co-director in 2003.
An ordained elder and member of the Balmoral church, Memphis, Tenn., Barber has served both church and community in a number of appointed and elected capacities. He and his wife, Wanda, who plan to make their home in Montreat, have one daughter, April.