Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, Interim Senior Ministersphelps@theriversidechurchny.org
Rev. Stephen H. Phelps was selected as Interim Senior Minister for the Riverside Church in December of 2010 and began his position in January of 2011. Before joining Riverside, Rev. Phelps served as Interim Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, and prior to that, as Senior Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Buffalo. He has served as pastor to Presbyterian congregations since 1986. Under his leadership, Rev. Phelpsí congregations have committed to transforming both the inward person and the structures of society, on which justice hangs. More...
Reverend Robert B. Coleman, Chief Program Minister / Minister for Mission and Social Justicebcoleman@theriversidechurchny.org
Born and raised in the river port town of Huntington, West Virginia, Reverend Robert B. Coleman came to The Riverside Church in the City of New York after having served twenty-three years as an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church in Tennessee. Hired in July of 2007 as Minister with Mission and Social Justice, Reverend Coleman was promoted to Chief Program Minister in July of 2009. Throughout his career, Reverend Coleman has been a champion in multiple initiatives addressing social justice and peace. He served as President of the New York New Sanctuary Coalition from 2008 to 2009 and was a steering committee member of the Metro New York Religious Campaign Against Torture from 2007 to 2009. In 2007, Reverend Coleman was a participant at the National Gathering of The New Sanctuary Movement in Los Angeles, California. Two years later, he and The Riverside Church were asked to host the National Gathering of The New Sanctuary Movement in New York.
Reverend Coleman gave the Howard Thurman Memorial Presentation for The Emancipation Institute in Harlem; an organization that helps incarcerated women find the strength and spirit to transform their lives both in and out of prison. He is currently a Board Member of Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, a position heís held since 2008. Along with representatives from the New York Theological Seminary (NYTS), Princeton Divinity School, Drew Divinity School, and The Riverside Church, Reverend Coleman also held a leadership position on the Planning Team for The Global City conference.
In 2008, Reverend Coleman served as Honorary Marshall in the New York City Muslim Day Parade. He has led an Interfaith Worship Service in the United Nations Chapel and has led a delegation to Rykerís Island to discuss, with the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, fair and just treatment of detainees.
Reverend Coleman has served as member or chair of the Conference Church and Society Commission, the Committee on Religion and Race, and the Conference Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns. He was elected to the Executive Board of Directors of the Nashville Chapter of the NAACP in 1998. Reverend Coleman helped to conceive the Interfaith Dental Clinic in the basement of his church which now attracts 200 volunteer dentists providing over two-million dollars worth of dentistry annually for those who have no dental insurance in Nashville, TN.
Reverend Coleman received his Bachelorís Degree in Education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV and his Masterís of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN.
Rev. Linda Tarry-Chard, Minister for Membership, Care & Parish Lifeltarryemail@example.com
Linda Tarry-Chard holds a Master of Science in Education from Fordham University and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Shortly after receiving her religious degree, Linda became an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and served as the Minister for Social Justice at Broadway United Church of Christ. She now serves as the Minister for New Membership, Care & Parish Life at The Riverside Church in New York City.
Linda Tarry-Chard has been involved in public service for over 40 years and has held executive positions in voluntary child-care agencies and with the New York City Human Resources Administration. Her career has focused on the welfare of disadvantaged urban children and their families, diversity and social justice issues. She was the Director of Adoption Services at Graham Windham Childrenís Services; Director of Victim Services Agency/ Community Outreach in the five boroughs of New York City; and Director of Special Projects for the New York City Board of Education where she developed educational enrichment programs for talented high school students in Central Harlem Community School District #5 and raised private funds for the Frederick Douglass Academy, one of the most rigorous college preparatory schools in Harlem.
In 1995, Linda Tarry-Chard broadened the population she serves to include women and children from U.S. inner cities to the townships of South Africa. She is the founding President of Project People Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that encourages multicultural and interfaith relations through training and employment projects for women and leadership projects for high school students.
Linda Tarry-Chardís innovative work with Project People Foundation earned her a 2009 Purpose Prize Fellowship awarded by Civic Ventures. The Purpose Prize, now in its fifth year provides awards to social innovators 60+ in encore careers. It is the nationís only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life.
Linda Tarry-Chard is a lifetime member of the NAACP, and a founding Board Member of the Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women and girls in New York City. In addition, she served as a docent and member of the Advisory Committee of the New York Womenís Foundation and serves on the Advisory Committees of the Jewish Museum and the Facing History and Ourselves Teacher Training Foundation. Among many of her credits, she is also the co-author of a childrenís book entitled King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
Rev. Julie Johnson Staples, Interim Minister for Educationjjohnsonstaples@theriversidechurchny.org
Ordained in 2011 as a Congregational minister, Julie Johnson Staples currently serves as Moderator of the New York-New Jersey Regional Association of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. She is also a member of the NACCC national ambassador team, acting as a regional advisor to ministerial search committees and a resource representative for member churches in the NACCC.
Rev. Johnson Staples also is a fellow of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies, which is dedicated to developing and sustaining ministerial excellence within her denomination.
Rev. Johnson Staples recently completed a Th.M. degree in Religion, Literature and Culture at Harvard University. Her research focused on inter-racial and multicultural liturgical experiences in American religious history. She also studied critical exploration in Teaching & Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, applying the work of developmental psychologist Jean Piaget to the theory and practice of religious education.
Rev. Johnson Staples was raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She has spent most of her life in active lay ministry - including serving as vice-chair of her church council, participating on church endowment strategy committees, teaching Bible study, and leading Adult Christian Education classes.
Prior to ordained ministry, her professional career included work as a journalist in Washington and as an executive in finance on Wall Street. Before leaving to enter seminary, Rev. Johnson Staples was a Managing Director of Warburg Pincus, the global private equity firm based in New York. Earlier in her career, she was the Justice Department correspondent for ABC News and the Supreme Court correspondent for TIME Magazine. In addition to reporting on law and politics, she has twice worked as a White House correspondent, for The New York Times and for The Baltimore Sun.
Before her education at Harvard, Rev. Johnson Staples completed her Master of Divinity at the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, graduating with distinction in Biblical Studies/Hebrew Bible. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, and is an emeritus member of the board of visitors. Rev. Johnson Staples completed her undergraduate degree in journalism at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information at the University of Kansas. She is a member of the Journalism School's Board of Trustees. In May, Rev. Johnson Staples was appointed to the board of the Congregational Library of the Congregational Christian Historical Society in Boston, Massachusetts. She is also former Chair of the Board of Directors of healthywomen.org, a national women's health organization and a former visiting professor in the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Rev. Johnson Staples is married and has one son, who is studying philosophy at the University of Central Florida.
Christopher Johnson, Director of Music and Organistcjohnson@theriversidechurchny.org
Christopher Johnson is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and a graduate of The Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. He presently serves as Director of Music and Organist at The Riverside Church in New York City, Artist-in-Residence at Union Theological Seminary, and as Director of Music at the Interchurch Center in New York City. In addition to previous appointments as Director of Music and Organist for the Woodstock/St. Paul Community at Columbia University, Assistant Organist and Associate Director of Music at The Riverside Church, he also served as Assistant Organist at Christ Church United Methodist in Manhattan.