John Barber (1757-1816)
John Barber was born in the Peak District of Derbyshire. While working as a farm labourer, Barber attended evening school and proved a diligent pupil. He was converted in 1778 and joined a Methodist class led by his employer.
Barber moved to Chinley in Derbishire and started working as a weaver, while at the same time labouring as a local preacher. He was heard by Wesley in 1782 to the evangelists's satisfaction and was appointed to itinerate in the Birmingham circuit later that year.
Despite his lack of years in the ministry, Barber was appointed to the Legal Hundred in 1784 and was ordained by Wesley for the work in Scotland in 1788.
Barber served twice as President of Conference (1807 and 1815) and was a leading member of the important Committee of Privileges. Barber died suddenly during his second presidential term.
Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)