Historic Riverside Church Hires New Executive Minister

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Rev. Michael Livingston

Rev. Michael Livingston has joined the staff of the 87 year-old Riverside Church church as Executive Minister.

He begins work this week as the church prepares to install its seventh Senior Minister, Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, “Pastor Amy,” on Sunday Oct 5, the church announced.

“Michael has a strong pastoral sensibility and a demonstrated commitment to creating gospel community that actively challenges the injustices confronting us,” wrote Pastor Amy in a letter to the congregation announcing the hire.  “Michael is highly regarded in the ecumenical community, both nationally and internationally, and well known for his ability to bring disparate voices to the table, engage in healthy dialogue and move our shared commitment toward meaningful action.”

Rev. Livingston comes to The Riverside Church from Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) where he served as Director of National Public Policy and led IWJ’s Washington, DC office.  Prior to IWJ, Rev. Livingston worked for the International Council of Community Churches and also served as President of the National Council of Churches.  In both places he traveled nationally and internationally engaging in the work of peace building, reconciliation and interfaith dialogue.  He has previously served congregations in Los Angeles and New York City, and holds both a Master of Divinity degree and Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

“There is no greater privilege, no finer honor than living in the midst of the cycle of life that every congregation experiences as members join their lives together,” wrote Rev. Livingston in his spiritual biography introducing himself to The Riverside Church.  “I look forward to vibrant worship in this community of faith, learning together the truth of the gospel, community service in New York City, nurturing the young in our midst, stewardship of the many resources God has given us, and building the beloved community at The Riverside Church.”

The Riverside Church is an interdenominational and international church built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927.  The 1,600-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.



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