Worshipers filled Anderson Auditorium June 14 for the installation of the Rev. Albert G. “Pete” Peery, Jr. as the 16th president of the Mountain Retreat Association [Montreat Conference Center].
“I believe it’s significant,” said Peery prior to the service, “that the words we’ll use are adapted from the liturgy used to install a minister of Word and Sacrament as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).”
In the service, Peery was charged not only to be responsible for the management of Montreat, but “as a minister of Word and Sacrament to assure that the Word may be rightly proclaimed and the sacraments rightly celebrated here.”
“Psalm 121 was required reading in our household,” said the Rev. Pendleton Peery, pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, LA. He and his sister, the Rev. Meg Peery McLaughlin, associate pastor of pastoral care at Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS, participated in their father’s installation service, charging him to “… keep things in line here, Dad. But remember that God redefines the lines as God leads us ahead on the journey.”
Peery, who has served congregations in Georgia and North Carolina for more than 30 years, comes to Montreat Conference Center after fourteen years as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Asheville, NC. His service to the PC(USA) includes a stint on the national staff as a peace associate in Europe, where he worked to help churches with reconciliation toward the end of the Cold War. In addition, he served a five-year term on the General Assembly Nominating Committee.
Peery is married to the Rev. Margaret Barnes Peery, a pastoral counselor in Asheville, who also participated in the service along with guest preacher and long-time family friend of the Peerys, the Rev. Agnes Norfleet, pastor of Shandon Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC.