United Church of Christ General Minister and President Re-Nomination Process

United Church of Christ General Minister and President Re-Nomination Process

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In April 2006, the Executive Council of the United Church of Christ put in place a new discernment process to be used when an Officer of the Church is eligible for re-nomination. Under the old process, used from 2000 to 2005, an open national search was conducted each time an Officer's term neared expiration. Under the new process, in cases where an Officer is eligible for re-election, the governing body responsible for nomination engages in the discernment process described below. You are invited to take part in that process by using this web page.

The Rev. Geoffrey Black will complete his first term as General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ in September 2013. In the fall of 2012, the Executive Council, the body responsible for the General Minister and President nomination, will receive a report from its Ad Hoc Committee Regarding Re-Election. The Executive Council must then decide whether to re-nominate Geoffrey Black to the 2013 General Synod for "call by election" to a second term. The Ad Hoc Committee has sought comments directly, by mail and email, from: all persons who have served on the Executive Committee of the Executive Council during the General Minister and President’s current term of service; current members of the Cabinet of the Council of Conference Ministers; three presidents of Seminaries of the United Church of Christ; three ecumenical peers who would have knowledge of the General Minister and President’s work and leadership; ten persons who have served as moderators of Conferences of the United Church of Christ; the four other members of the Collegium of Officers; the Chairperson and Vice-chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Office of General Ministries and the Chairperson of each of its committees. Geoffrey Black will also be interviewed by the Ad-Hoc Committee.

In addition, anyone may use this web page to comment on Geoffrey’s work and leadership. If you would like to do so, please fill in the fields below, type your comment, and click on the "submit" button. Your comment will go by direct email to the Rev. Penny Lowes, current Chair of Executive Council who is chairing the Ad-Hoc Committee Regarding Re-Election. The Committee includes the Rev. Douglas Anders, Houston, TX; Ms. Dale Bonds, New Orleans, LA; the Rev. Doyle Luckenbaugh, Massillon, OH; Ms. Kate Rogers, Amherst, NH; the Rev. Sheila Rubdi,Marion, MA; Ms. Hattie Walker, Black River Falls, WI. The Ad-Hoc Committee is working toward bringing a recommendation to the Chairperson of the Executive Council by September 15, 2012. At its fall meeting to be held October 11-13, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio, the Executive Council will vote on whether to re-nominate the General Minister and President for call by election to another term. The deadline for comments via this web page is September 1, 2012.

Grace and Peace through Jesus Christ,

Rev. Penny Lowes

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The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black was elected General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ in June 2009. Prior to that, he served as Conference Minister of the UCC's New York Conference for nine years beginning in 2000.

Geoffrey Black previously served as a Minister for Church Life and Leadership with the then-Office for Church Life and Leadership (currently Parish Life and Leadership), a national agency of the United Church of Christ housed at the UCC's national offices in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Prior to joining the staff of OCLL in 1994, he served as Pastor of the Congregational UCC of South Hempstead (N.Y.). During his years in ministry, Black also has served as assistant chaplain at Brown University, associate minister at St. Albans Congregational UCC in Queens, Lecturer in the Field Education Department at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and Protestant chaplain at Adelphi University.

In his capacity as Minister for Church Life and Leadership, Black was active in several key aspects of the ministry. In addition to engaging in the work common to all OCLL staff such as ministerial authorization and search and call, he devoted special attention to ecclesiastical endorsement, ministerial formation, congregational life and the development of resources for the multiracial/multicultural church.

During his tenure as a local church pastor, Black also was active in Association and Conference life, serving on several committees and holding a number of elected offices.  He served on the Ordination and Standing Committee and the Committee on Church in the Metropolitan Community of the New York Metropolitan Association. He was chairperson of the New York Conference Commission on Mission Priorities and he served as moderator of the Conference.

Ecumenical commitment, concern for equal justice, African-American empowerment, and community improvement have shaped Black's ministry in the church and in the communities in which he has lived. This has resulted in his work with organizations such as the Nassau Coalition for Safety and Justice, The Long Island Interracial Alliance for a Common Future, and the Amistad Cultural Center of Long Island, which he co-founded.  While living in Ohio, he has been an active member of Caring Communities of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Partnership 2000 of the Shaker Public schools.

Rev. Black is maried to Patricia Williams-Black. They have one daugher, Makeda Black, who resides in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Contact Info

Alisa Lewis
Human Resources Director
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115