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Bishop William Barber retires from Goldsboro church, will continue activism

The Rev. William Barber II speaks during the virtual Poor People's Campaign on Saturday.
Screenshot by NPR
The Rev. William Barber II speaks during the virtual Poor People's Campaign.

North Carolina civil rights leader Bishop William Barber says he will continue his work as an activist following his final sermon at his church in Goldsboro.

Barber served as the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church for 30 years. During that time, he also led the state chapter of the NAACP. He led weekly protests at the General Assembly starting in 2013 known as Moral Mondaysagainst newly passed conservative policies.

In his final service last Sunday, Barber gave an emotional sermon about his time at Greenleaf Church.

"I have tried to preach, and to teach and to live out what Jesus said is the vision of the church," Barber said through tears.

Barber is the co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign and founding director of the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy at Yale Divinity School. He also delivered the sermon at President Joe Biden's inaugural prayer service in 2021.

"I'm grateful for the ways my leadership has been accepted and for the good, great, powerful things we've been able to accomplish together for the Kingdom of God and to lift the love of God," he told his congregation Sunday.

Will Michaels started his professional radio career at WUNC.