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.
Reflections is a new series from the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ. Each month, Rev. Black will provide commentary on a wide variety of issues and topics.
In this first segment, Rev. Black reflects on the future of the church and Vision Plan of the national settings, and how the denomination is aspiring to strengthen its bold, public voice in American Christianity.
Dear sister and brother travelers and followers of the way;
With you I share the joy of anticipation of even greater joy: