Civil rights activist and business leader Richard E. Barber, Sr., of Somerset, will receive the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award 9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) in Franklin Township.
Barber, who is the descendant of slaves and who was a participant in the 1960 Greensboro sit-in that was started by four young men over segregated lunch counters at the North Carolina Woolworth’s store, is also a FBCLG deacon.
“Richard Barber has spent his life in service to others, espousing the tremendous benefits of self-help, self-reliance, economic development and community service,” said DeForest “Buster” Soaries, FBCLG senior pastor. “Deacon Barber is a man of courage, as Dr. King himself would define it. He’s been a role model in our church for years and we’re fortunate to have him.”
The service award is given to those who champion for justice in underrepresented communities. Deacon Barber will be applauded and appreciated for his efforts in economic, social, racial and political justice.
Barber, who participated in the sit-ins while a student at Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina (now North Carolina A&T State University), grew up in Trenton, North Carolina and was the son of a tobacco farmer. One of nine children, seven of whom attended college, Barber once established the only black-owned full-service commercial bank in Pennsylvania – New World National Bank in Pittsburgh. He also served communities through black churches and the NAACP.
Author of “The Economic Emancipation of African-Americans: Let the Church Say Amen,” Barber also served in the administration at University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. He is the founder and president of Penny Lovers of America, Inc., which recycles pennies to create scholarships.
Source: NJ.com | Brianna Smallwood