Progressive Revival

After serving almost three decades as Senior Minister, Forrest Church is now Minister of Public Theology of All Souls. He was educated at Stanford University (A.B., 1970), Harvard Divinity School (M.Div., 1974), and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in Early Church History (1978).

Dr. Church, who is 59 years old, has written or edited 24 books, including: Father and Son: A Personal Biography of Senator Frank Church of Idaho (Harper & Row, 1985); Our Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism (Beacon, 1989); God and Other Famous Liberals (Simon and Schuster, 1991); Life Lines (Beacon 1996); Lifecraft (Beacon, 2000); Bringing God Home (St. Martins, 2002); The American Creed (St. Martins, 2002) and Freedom From Fear (St. Martins 2004). Recently he has been focusing on the history of church and state in America as editor of The Separation of Church and State (Beacon, 2004) and author of So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle over Church and State (Harcourt, 2007). Beacon Press recently released Love and Death-My Journey Through the Valley of the Shadow in June of 2008.

Among other works, he is editor of The Essential Tillich (University of Chicago, 1999); The Macmillan Books of Earliest Christian Prayers and Meditations (1988-1989); One Prayer At a Time (Collier, 1989); Thomas Jefferson's Bible (Beacon, 1989) and Restoring Faith: America's Religious Leaders Answer, Terror with Hope (Walker, 2001).

For two years (1987-88), Dr. Church wrote a weekly column for the Chicago Tribune; fifty of these columns are collected in Everyday Miracles: Stories From Life (Harper and Row, 1988). He served two terms at Dartmouth College as Montgomery Fellow and visiting professor (spring/summer 1989).

Eight of his addresses have been selected for inclusion in the annual anthology Representative American Speeches (Wilson & Co.): "Love and Death" (1983-1984); "Terrorism" (1986-1987); "Chariots of Fire" (1987-1988); "If I Were A Woman" (1989-1990); "Shall We Overcome?" (1992-1993); "The American Creed" (1994-1995); "Fear and Terror" (1994-1995); and "September Song" (1996-1997). "Fear and Terror" is also included in Representative American Speeches1937-1997 (Wilson & Co., 1997). Dr. Church's 1988 interview with Bill Moyers is included in A World of Ideas (Doubleday, 1989).

Dr. Church is also a member of the Executive Board at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. He recently retired as Chair of the Council on the Environment of New York City after ten years of service (appointed by Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg) overseeing, among other programs, New York's 50 Greenmarkets.

He is married to Carolyn Buck Luce and has four children, Frank (29), Nina (26), Jacob (23), and Nathan (21).

There’s a noble tradition in the ministry, going back to the 17th Century. One or two Sundays before an election, almost every preacher in the land devoted his sermon to the body politic.   It’s a great literary genre.  Often, […]