Pastoral Installation of Eighth Senior Minister, Rev. Adriene Thorne

The Riverside Church in the City of New York Makes Church History Installing Its First Black Woman Senior Minister

Reverend Adrienne Thorne is set to be installed Sunday, September 17

NEW YORK (Sept. 11, 2023) – On Sunday, September 17, The Riverside Church in the City of New York will take another step towards progressivism and equality with the installation of its next senior minister. As the eighth senior minister to be installed, Reverend Adriene Thorne will be the first African American woman to hold the position. This is an important milestone for the church that serves Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and a powerful message of diversity and inclusion for all faiths who worship there. 

Rev. Thorne, who officially began her role on October 1, 2022 brings with her a wealth of experience. Prior to Riverside, Rev. Thorne led The First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, a role she had been in since 2016. During the eight years before that, she served Middle Collegiate Church in a variety of roles, including executive minister. Rev. Thorne is a graduate of The Pacific School of Religion, where she received her Master of Divinity degree as well as, The Blanton-Peale Institute, where she completed post-graduate studies in pastoral care and counseling. 

“It is truly an honor to have been selected for this historic role,” said Rev. Thorne. “I am grateful to God for the blessed opportunity to bring my gifts to the Riverside Church and to join with the faithful servants here who are tirelessly nurturing God’s fresh vision of the Beloved Community. In this tumultuous chapter in our nation’s story, I am ready to lead an engaged community of faith that has the grace and fortitude to repair the harm visited upon God’s planet and people.”

Having a deep commitment to her community, Rev. Thorne co-founded the award-winning Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge in 2021, which won the Nextdoor Love Your Neighborhood Award, was featured at the Nextdoor initial public offering at the New York Stock Exchange, and highlighted in Real Simple magazine. 

A lover of the performing arts, Rev. Thorne also studied and performed with the Dance Theater of Harlem, and has credits with The Metropolitan Opera. As a classically-trained dancer, her skills put her on a different stage as a Radio City Rockette.  

The Church’s eighth installation will take place on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 4:00pm. RSVP here for in-person attendance. 


About The Riverside Church

Located in Morningside Heights on the Upper West Side, The Riverside Church in the City of New York is one of the leading voices of Progressive Christianity, influential on America’s religious and political landscapes for more than 90 years. Built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and currently led by senior minister Rev. Adriene Thorne, the interracial, interdenominational, and international church has long been a forum for important civic and spiritual leaders, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, and countless others. Visit or find us on social media to learn more about our rich history and the latest news and events.


Media Contact:

Meredith LeJeune

Thought Bubble Communications