Members of First Presbyterian in Church Charleston, WV, and friends recently honored Dean and Rebecca Thompson by dedicating a guest room in their honor at the historic Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center’s iconic hotel located in Montreat, NC.
Dean and Rebecca were much loved in Charleston where they served at First Presbyterian Church from1996 until 2004. Known as both an innovator and bridge builder in Charleston, Dean was awarded the 2004 Martin Luther King Award by the WV Chapter of the NAACP. Dean is a distinguished scholar, preacher, and pastor having also served pastorates in Montgomery, WV; Austin, TX; and Pasadena, CA. Dr. Thompson is both president and professor emeritus of Louisville Seminary where he served from 2004 until 2010 after leaving Charleston.
Rebecca, a gifted teacher, musician and conductor, specializing in choral work with children and youth, founded in 1986 what became one of the foremost children’s choirs in the world: the Los Angeles Children’s Choir (LACC), for which she was recently honored. She was instrumental in developing the Appalachian Children’s Choir while in Charleston, and most recently served as the director of children’s music at the First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC.
Friends of Dean and Rebecca, in recognition of their lifelong service to First Presbyterian in Charleston and the church at large, decided to raise the $25,000 to dedicate a room in Montreat Conference Center’s recently renovated Assembly Inn. Dean and Rebecca moved to the Montreat area in 2010 where they continued to serve the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a variety of capacities. The announcement of the gift, a surprise to the Thompsons, was made at a farewell luncheon in Montreat to honor Dr. Thompson’s service on the Mountain Retreat Association Board of Trustees and the significant impact both have had on the church and community.
Richard DuBose, Montreat Conference Center’s president, shared his appreciation for the Thompsons: “It is so fitting that a congregation would step forward to honor Dean and Rebecca Thompson. They live out their lives each day embracing the best virtues of our church and heritage. They are a gift to this valley in so many ways through their leadership and example.”
Montreat Conference Center is one of three national conference centers affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), annually visited by over 35,000 people seeking physical and spiritual renewal in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. For more information, or to learn about programs, conferences, and other activities at Montreat, visit www. montreat.org or call 828.669.2911.