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Riverside Church

The Church seeks to be a community of faith. Its members are united in the worship of God known in Jesus, the Christ, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The mission of the Church is to serve God through word and witness; to treat all human beings as sisters and brothers; and to foster responsible stewardship of all God's creation.

The Church commits itself to welcoming all persons, celebrating the diversity found in a Congregation broadly inclusive of persons from different backgrounds of characteristics, including race, economic class, religion, culture, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, family status and physical and mental abilities. Members are called to an individual and collective quality of life that leads to personal, spiritual and social transformation, witnessing to God’s saving purposes for all creation. Therefore, the Church pledges itself to education, reflection, and action for peace and justice and the realization of the vision of the heavenly banquet where all are loved and blessed.

Approved by the Religious Society of The Riverside Church on May 17, 1992 and Revised: 2 March, 2008

Faith-Based Proclamations

Who We Are

The Three "I"s...
We are an Interdenominational, Interracial, & International and Open, Welcoming, & Affirming congregation.

The Riverside Church has 1,750 members and affiliates. Its members come from more than 40 different denominational, national, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

The church is interdenominational. It is affiliated with both the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches and cooperates with the Council of Churches in the City of New York as well as the New York State, National, and World Councils of Churches. More...

The Church Council, comprised of 18 elected members of the congregation, is responsible for the spiritual well-being, fiscal matters, and property of the church, and oversees the various commissions and committees of the church.

The church is modeled after the 13th Century gothic cathedral in Chartres, France. Construction began in 1927 with the first service held on October 5, 1930. The Nave seats over 2,100 worshipers. The 20-floor tower contains meeting rooms and the 74-bell Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon. The Carillon’s 20-ton Bourdon bell is the largest turned bell in the world. The smallest bell in our Carillon weighs 10 pounds.

Senior Ministers
The Rev. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1930 - 1946
The Rev. Dr. Robert James McCracken, 1946 - 1967
The Rev. Dr. Ernest T. Campbell, 1968 - 1976
The Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., 1977 - 1987
The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., 1989 - 2007
The Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton, 2008 - 2009
The Rev. Dr. Amy K. Butler, 2014 -


Former Senior Ministers of
The Riverside Church

From Left to Right and Top to bottom: Fosdick, McCracken, Campbell, Coffin Jr., Forbes Jr., Braxton