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Barbee-Watkins Called as Lead Presbyter

Presbytery of the James voted May 17 to extend a call to the Reverend Dr. Floretta “Flo” Barbee-Watkins effective June 27. She will serve as lead presbyter for vision and collaboration, a new position created in 2021 through the presbytery’s strategic plan.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Barbee-Watkins received a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in homiletics and Christian education from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary. In 2020, she earned a doctorate in education in organizational leadership from Northcentral University.

Throughout her ministry, Barbee-Watkins has served the Church with heart and soul in a variety of ways.

For 18 years she was the pastor of Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church, now known as “the Avenue,” in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a 20-year veteran of the US Air National Guard, retiring in 2017 as deputy-wing chaplain. Most recently, she was the transitional general presbyter for Presbytery of Detroit.

Her resume also includes the following highlights:

  • The first African American clergywoman moderator of Presbytery of Charlotte, elected in 2013.
  • Co-moderator of PC(USA)’s Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns.
  • Member of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board.

Barbee-Watkins is married to Montressa Barbee-Watkins and they have one adult daughter. Flo’s hobbies include cooking, smoking and grilling meats, golfing, travel, and camping in her RV. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.


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