Take the Bully Out of the Pulpit: Remarks By Katharine Henderson and James Forbes

Posted on October 26th, 2010 | Filed under InterViews, Video

The Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson is President of Auburn Theological Seminary in the city of New York, an institution founded in 1818 with a long history of commitment to social causes such as abolition of slavery and women’s rights. Author of God’s Troublemakers: How Women of Faith are Changing the World (Continuum, 2006), Henderson is an international leader in theological education. She has pioneered programs for excellence in religious leadership of all faiths and progressive moral leadership in the public square.

Henderson has spearheaded innovative educational programs, ranging from convening CEOs of major American corporations to review the ethics of their business practice; to multifaith women’s organizing; to infusing mainstream media with responsible engaging religious voices; and the gathering of young leaders from war-torn countries to practice conflict resolution and multifaith understanding through Auburn’s flagship youth leadership program, Face to Face/Faith to Faith.

Among her many affiliations, Henderson serves on the boards of the New York Women’s Foundation and the Ghost Ranch Camp and Conference Center. She is a Parish Associate of The First Presbyterian Church in New York City. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Henderson is a graduate of the College of Wooster (Phi Beta Kappa) and Union Theological Seminary (NY).  Henderson also holds a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City.

The Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, who was installed as the fifth Senior Minister of Riverside on June 1, 1989, and retired on June 1, 2007, was the first African-American to serve as Senior Minister of this multicultural congregation. He is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and the Original United Holy Church of America.

Before being called to Riverside’s pulpit, Dr. Forbes served from 1976-1985 as the Brown and Sockman Associate Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. From 1985-1989 he was Union’s first Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching. Union named him the first Harry Emerson Fosdick Adjunct Professor of Preaching in 1989, when he accepted the pastorate at Riverside. Dr. Forbes also serves on the Core Teaching Staff at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York.

In national and international religious circles, Dr. Forbes is known as the preacher’s preacher because of his extensive preaching career and his charismatic style. In their March 4, 1996 issue, Newsweek magazine recognized Forbes as one of the 12 “most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world. This Pastor, Educator, Administrator, Community Activist and Interfaith Leader was designated as one of America’s greatest Black preachers by Ebony magazine in 1984 and 1993. He won the Alumni Charter Day Award of Howard University for Distinguished Post Graduate Achievement In Ministry. In 1995 he emerged in the Baylor University Survey as one of twelve remarkable and most effective preachers in the English-speaking world.

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