Forrest Church

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For his father, Frank Forrester Church III, the former United States Senator, see Frank Church.
Rev. Dr. Forrest Church
Forrest Church 2008.jpg
Born Frank Forrester Church IV
(1948-09-23)September 23, 1948
Palo Alto, California
Died September 24, 2009(2009-09-24) (aged 61)
New York, New York
Resting place
Morris Hill Cemetery
Boise, Idaho
Residence New York, New York
Education Stanford University (A.B., 1970)
Harvard Divinity School (M.Div., 1974)
Harvard University( Ph.D., 1978)
Occupation minister, author, and theologian
Employer Unitarian Church of All Souls, New York City, New York
Known for Leading Unitarian Universalist theologian and author, prominent New York City religious figure
Title Minister of Public Theology
Religion Unitarian Universalist
Spouse(s) Carolyn Buck Luce,
 (m. 1992–2009)

Amy Furth Church
 (m. 1969–91)
[1]
Children 4
Parents Frank Forrester Church III
Bethine Clark Church

Frank Forrester Church IV (September 23, 1948 – September 24, 2009) was a leading Unitarian Universalist minister, author, and theologian. He was Senior Minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, until late 2006 when he was appointed as Minister of Public Theology.[2]

Biography[edit]

Church was born in Palo Alto, California, while his father, Frank Church, was a student at Stanford Law School. Following graduation in 1950, the family returned to Boise, Idaho.[3] His father was elected to the United States Senate in 1956 and served four terms, until January 1981.

Church was a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Divinity School. He received a Ph.D. in early church history from Harvard University in 1978.

On February 4, 2008, Church sent a letter to the members of his congregation informing them that he had terminal cancer. He told them of his intention, which he successfully realized, to sum up his thoughts on the topics that had been pervasive in his work in a final book, entitled Love & Death.

Forrest Church died of esophageal cancer in New York City on September 24, 2009.[4] He is buried in Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise.

Writings[edit]

Church is best known as a leader of liberal religion. Between 1985 and his death, he wrote or edited more than 20 books. These include technical studies of Christian and Gnostic literature, as well as over a dozen books addressing a wider audience.[2]

Books authored by Church include:

  • Father and Son: A Personal Biography of Senator Frank Church of Idaho
  • The trilogy A Humane Comedy: The Devil and Dr. Church, Entertaining Angels, and The Seven Deadly Virtues
  • Early Christian Prayer
  • Early Christian Hymns
  • The Essential Tillich
  • God and Other Famous Liberals: Recapturing Bible, Flag, and Family from the Far Right, Walker & Company, 1996 (ISBN 978-0802774835)
  • A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, with John A. Buehrens, Beacon Press, 1998 (ISBN 0807016160)
  • The American Creed: A Spiritual and Patriotic Primer, 2002 (ISBN 0-312-30344-0)
  • So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State, 2007 (ISBN 978-0151011858)
  • Freedom From Fear: Finding the Courage to Act, Love and Be (ISBN 0-312-32534-7)
  • Love & Death, Beacon Press, 2008 (ISBN 0807072931)
  • The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology, Beacon Press, 2009 (ISBN 0807073237)

Books edited by Church:

  • Restoring Faith: America's Religious Leaders Answer Terror with Hope, Walker & Company, 2001 (ISBN 978-0802776327)
  • The Separation of Church and State: Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America's Founders, Beacon Press, 2004 (ISBN 9780807077221)

Television appearance[edit]

Church can be seen offering commentary in the History Channel documentary Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steinfels, Peter (October 7, 1991). "Pastor's Conduct Divides East Side Congregation". New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Biography on All Souls NYC page, retrieved 10 June 2007.
  3. ^ "Things To Do When You Get Your Life Back", sermon by Forrester Church, November 14, 1999, retrieved 10 June 2007.
  4. ^ Holley, Joe (September 29, 2009). "Influential N.Y. Unitarian Minister". Washington Post. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]