MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, NY - As part of its recently launched Distinguished Preacher Series—a monthly speaking engagement featuring some of the most powerful Christian preaching voices of today—the soaring halls of The Riverside Church Nave will once again echo with the voice of The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church, as he leads service on Sunday, December 19 at 10:45 a.m.
“It is always a blessing and a joy when Rev. Forbes returns to Riverside and his participation in the Distinguished Preacher Series will give those in attendance the chance to hear one of our generation’s most inspirational voices,” said Chief Program Minister Rev. Robert B. Coleman.
Rev. Forbes was installed as the fifth senior minister of Riverside in June 1989 and is currently the founder and President of the Healing of the Nations Foundation. Before being called to Riverside, Dr. Forbes served from 1976 to 1985 as the Brown and Sockman Associate Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. From 1985 to 1989, he was Union’s first Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching, and in 1989 he was named its first Harry Emerson Fosdick Adjunct Professor of Preaching. In its March 4, 1996 issue,Newsweek magazine recognized him as one of the 12 “most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world. He was twice designated as one of America’s greatest Black preachers by Ebony magazine.
From 1992 to 2007, Dr. Forbes was co-chair of A Partnership of Faith, an interfaith organization of clergy among New York’s Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim communities. He is also a past President of The Martin Luther King Fellows.
The Distinguished Preacher Series will continue each month, with future guest preachers including: The Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., Senior Minister of the 6,000-member historic Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. (January 16, 2011); The Rev. Professor Peter John Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister at The Memorial Church of Harvard University (February 20, 2011); The Rev. Raquel A. St. Clair, Ph.D., the first woman to serve as the Executive Minister to the 6000 members of the historic St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark, NJ (March 20, 2011); and The Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad, the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City (May 15, 2011).
Each participant brings a history of inspired, reflective and acclaimed standing in the American pulpit. They are all noted for bringing their own special gifts and contributions to both the cultural and theological landscape, helping to nurture and lead devout Christians through the challenges of the world today.
The Riverside Church is an interracial, interdenominational and international church built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927. The 2,400-member Riverside Church in Morningside Heights has a rich tradition of providing a forum for important civic and spiritual leaders. Past speakers include: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President William J. Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Fidel Castro, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.