Former GBN executive directorDalton, Ga. (BNc) — Gospel Broadcasting Network announced the death of Barry Gilreath Monday, June 8:

We, sorrowfully, announce the passing of our dear brother, Barry Gilreath, early this morning, June 7. Brother Gilreath was the original executive director of the Gospel Broadcasting Network and was active in its operation as late as yesterday. We will have more details later.

Brother Gilreath was one of the elders of the Highland church in Dalton, which oversaw the creation and operation of GBN until this year.

Visitation will be Friday, June 10, from 3:00-8:00 p.m., at Heritage Funeral Home, 3239 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

Another visitation has been scheduled for Saturday, June 11 from 2-3 pm at Highland church of Christ, 901 Chester St., Dalton, Ga.

The funeral will begin at 3:00 p.m., at the Highland church building following this visitation. The burial will follow at Woodstation Cemetery in the Woodstation Community on Hwy 151, Ringgold, Ga.

The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Gospel Broadcasting Network, 3969 Cloud Springs Rd., Ringgold, GA 30736.

Jim Dearman, GBN Program Director, wrote, “Only eternity will reveal the souls who will be saved because Barry Gilreath, Sr., acted upon his dream to help make the dream of God a reality. Life brings us many acquaintances, but God brings us friends like Barry Gilreath, Sr. I will continue to thank God for that gift.”

Jeffrey Archey, preacher with the East Side church in Cleveland, Tenn., recalls,

“At an area preacher’s luncheon, Barry Gilreath, Sr. was seated next to me. During the luncheon, he leaned over and said, ‘Brother Jeff, what would you think of a 24/7 television network with nothing but gospel preaching?’ My reply was, “Brother Barry, that would be great.”

The seed was being sown and, eventually, the outreach tool of the “Gospel Broadcasting Network” was a reality.

“Brother Barry knew the power of television,” said Archey. “When James Watkins retired from local preaching work in 1997, it was brother Barry who talked to brother Watkins about the program ‘Preaching the Gospel’ and we know the effect that program has had.”

“Brother Barry envisioned the current GBN studios. He wanted to see crowds come in and fill the studio area for various ‘live’ broadcasts. When he sold the idea of GBN, he had a passion for souls and he knew the right people to work with him to make that dream come true,” Archey said. “I considered him a good brother in the Lord, a friend, an encourager and a good advisor in my GBN work. He always had a smile and never complained of his ailments—it was always, ‘I’m doing pretty good.’”

The obituary for the Times Free Press can be found at this link.

Further questions may be directed to