Childhood and Youth
I was born into a Presbyterian manse, in Western Pennsylvania, and baptized at the First Presbyterian Church of Akron, Ohio. My father is a retired Presbyterian minister and my late mother was a public school teacher and guidance counselor. I was confirmed in the Worthington Presbyterian Church and ordained as an elder that happened to be a youth.
Education and Formation
From high school I went to the College of Wooster, majoring in American History. I served on the Session at the campus church, Westminster Presbyterian Church.
I landed in Chicago at McCormick Seminary. Having been a small town and suburban Ohio boy, Chicago represented a whole new world to me; urban ministry stuck and has been my calling ever since.
I was first called to a re-development congregation on the north side of Chicago, St. James Presbyterian Church. From St. James Church, I was called to Fourth Presbyterian Church where I held two positions – Associate Pastor for Mission and Communication and later Executive Associate Pastor.
In 2001 I came to Rochester to serve Third Presbyterian Church, a historic metropolitan congregation.
As I was moving to Rochester, I completed my PhD, a joint degree from Northwestern University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. I focused on twentieth century American religious history; my dissertation was a social history of the Confession of 1967. I have taught in a number of contexts: seminary classes, educator certification, CLP (now CRE) training, presbyteries and congregations. I love to teach!
I believe in the connectional church, and have served on lots of committees in Chicago and Genesee Valley Presbyteries, including a stint as presbytery moderator.
I have been a commissioner at two General Assemblies and attended a bunch more in various capacities.
For five years I served on the General Assembly Theological Task Force on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church, appointed at a time when church tension was high.
Following that I have served on the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly, and served as its moderator for two years.
Groups and Gatherings
I have been in on the ground floor and provided leadership for several Presbyterian ventures:
I have also served on two seminary boards – Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (our local ecumenical seminary) and McCormick Theological Seminary.
Flowing from my urban ministry commitments, I am co-convener of Great Schools for All (GS4A), seeking to create equitable education opportunities for all children in the Rochester community.
Bonny and I are the grateful parents of two wonderful children. Our son Kenneth is a student at Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in mechanical engineering. Our daughter Ann is a student at the College of Wooster.
I love baseball, college basketball, Ohio State sports, movies, TV shows (too many to mention, let’s start with vintage Letterman, Hill Street Blues, the West Wing, X-Files, the Simpsons, Seinfeld, the Office, Castle on the treadmill), Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Mumford and Sons.
I am an ENFJ (sometimes an ENFP) and a National League fan! I appreciate carbs!