Dr. William J. Barber, II: Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Goldsboro, NC
Dr. William J. Barber, II is President of the North Carolina NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). He is Senior Pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ. He is Chairman Rebuilding Broken Places Community Development Corporation, which has developed or inspired over seven million dollars in community development which includes, 41 unit low-income senior citizen complex, 42 single family homes, computer training.
A Ministry where justice and spirituality walk together, Dr. Barber’s leadership by example has roots with more than a Century of the preaching tradition on both sides of his family. His service to Social Justice began when his parents returned to Washington County to assist in school integration in 1968. His commitment to public service impresses Psalm 103:6,
The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. It is often during times of upheaval, the poor and oppressed are most trampled upon. Social change and justice requires people, action and continuous involvement in the political process. As a Community, we must not go back. Dr. Barber’s leadership by example demonstrates how we must move forward.
One vote can make a difference and Dr. Barber led the effort that established Same Day Voter Registration. North Carolina is the only Southern state to offer additional time to register and be able to vote in the ongoing election. A measure like Same Day Registration gives so many more people opportunity to exercise their right to vote. As President of the NAACP, Member of the National Board and Chair of the Political Action Committee (PAC), his work is to make sure the law is followed and, again in accord with Psalm 103:6, and “make sure it rolls down like water” to every citizen, every Community. He helped bring about the Millions Voting March with its message of Get out and Vote. He is known to be “one of the most effective grassroots advocates,” in North Carolina. He increased voter turnout for the Mayor of Goldsboro, who was a write-in candidate 5 days before the election. He got 40% of the vote. He “organized 2004 a North Carolina Get out to Vote Rally and Radio-thon that included Judge Jim Wynn, former House of Rep. Speaker, Dan Blue, former State Auditor Ralph Campbell and the US Congresspersons Jim Clyburn and G.K. Butterfield.”
The NAACP existed for reasons when it was created and it exists for reasons now. The NAACP is relevant. Voting is relevant. Dr. Barber’s message, “if you are concerned about healthcare, jobs and education, those are all political issues,” you must vote to have a say to change what you care about. His role in the NAACP and as a Minister is not to tell anyone who to vote for, but to increase awareness of Community issues, voter participation and push for positive change “to make us a better society.”
Dr. Barber’s commitment to Community are shown at the National, State, Regional and local levels. He currently serves as a Board Member of “Rebuilding Broken Places” CDC and Resource Center and a Board Member of the NC Justice Center. He served on the National Community Economic Development Board and was appointed by Former Governor James B. Hunt to be Executive Director of the NC Human Relations Commission. His Task force services are as Chairman of the committee on Morality for the Hate Violence Church Bombing Task Force and Member of the National Reconciliation Task Force Christian Church Convocation and Regional Board of The Christian Church. He has been awarded keys to ten cities. He has helped enforce or resist various issues such as low income access to resources to enforcing housing, re-segregation in the schools, employment discrimination and hate crime laws as when he stood with and supported the Dept. of Transportation, DOT 7 in the hangman’s noose case.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from N.C. Central University. His obtained a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Duke University and was selected as a Dean Scholar and Benjamin Mays Fellow. He obtained a Divinity Doctoral Degree with a Concentration in Public Policy and Pastoral Care from Drew University. His service to Higher education is demonstrated by previous service on the on Board of Trustees at NC Central University Durham NC and Barton College Wilson NC and as Adjunct professors at NCCU, Master of Public Administration and Duke Divinity Masters Program.
Greenleaf Christian Church has been open for the past 120 years and Dr. Barber has served as Senior Pastor since 1993. Greenleaf has over 35 active ministries and more than 400 members. His spiritual contributions include Guest Preacher for the Truth and Reconciliation commission in Greensboro, NC to address the deaths of social justice workers in 1979, Lectured at the National Convocation Harambi Institute, the National Convocation of Black Ministers Retreat and National Medical Association. Other talents include host of two radio shows, CATCH the Fire, and Praise with a Purpose and Book author to “Preaching Through Unexpected Pain” and currently working on his second book entitled “Say it Preacher: The Power of Prophetic Preaching.”
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