Riverside Development Committee

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

–  1 Peter 4:10-11

The Riverside Campus

What is the Riverside Development Committee?


The purpose of the Riverside Development Committee is to lead the congregation and staff of The Riverside Church in the development of a comprehensive strategic plan to address how our property can be more effectively used not only to positively impact our community but also to ensure our long-term fiscal sustainability.

With the purchase of McGiffert Hall, Riverside now owns the entire two-city-block site bounded by 120th Street, Riverside Drive, 122nd Street, and Claremont Avenue, which includes a variety of structures.  This is a wonderful and valuable gift from God that will help to financially support our church ministries while providing us with an unprecedented opportunity to greatly expand our social services.

Riverside has always been a tremendous partner and advocate for social justice within our community as well as throughout the nation and the world.  With God’s guidance, we can increase our beneficial outreach to this community and beyond by:

– Working with our neighbors in Morningside Heights and Harlem to help meet their needs.
– Strengthening our existing community bonds and forging new relationships.
– Sustaining our financial health for generations to come.

The RDC has five subcommittees: 1) Real Estate Assessment; 2) Communications; 3) Greening; 4) Community Assessment; and 5) Congregational Survey.  In close consultation and collaboration with the congregation and staff, we are hard at work in developing a multi-faceted strategic plan that will cover:

Mission enhancement

– Ministry growth
– Revenue generation
– Property development

As The Riverside Church celebrates its 90th Anniversary in 2020, we are committed to faithfully stewarding the tremendous assets that God has so graciously bestowed upon us.  The RDC’s subcommittees will continue working throughout the coming year, and will provide regular updates to the congregation.  Our hope is to complete the strategic plan by the end of 2021 and to present the final report to the Church Council and the congregation in early 2022.

Watch: RDC Speaker Series, Ask RDC & More



Watch: Faith & Social Enterprise


Riverside Development Committee Events

Committee Subcommittees

Greening of Riverside

How do we make Riverside green? This subcommittee is assessing current green systems/practices and effectiveness, and researches latest technologies and methods that could used in existing structures as well as any new development to make Riverside sustainable. This subcommittee works with and builds upon the work of the Beloved Earth Community and the Building Committee.

Community Assessment & Partnership Development

This subcommittee looks at our broader community (Morningside Heights, Harlem, etc.) and its wants and needs now and in the future. This includes working with and developing partnerships with current service providers, e.g. housing, food, jobs, reentry programs, and community based organizations, as well as collecting demographic data and engaging professionals to do an assessment of community needs. This subcommittee works with and involves our Social Service Ministry and MCPL commission in their work, and also works with the Stewardship Committee and Stewardship & Development staff to see if there is grant or other funding available with respect to community assessment and development.

Real Estate Assessment & Development

This subcommittee looks at how to make the best use of our real estate. This includes working with the Building Committee to do an assessment of Riverside’s existing real estate (including Church, McGiffert, MLK, Stone Gym) – e.g., what is the square footage, layout, and current uses; income produced; costs; previous development plans; etc. The committee researches any limitations on development, zoning restrictions/issues, sources of funding for development – private and government, the development done by UTS, JTS and St. John’s, and developers themselves and our community partners, etc.


This subcommittee works with Riverside’s Communications Department to keep the congregation informed of RDC’s work, and invite participation by the congregation in the process. The subcommittee is responsible for our external communications with our broader community.


Committee Members

The Riverside Development Committee is made up of lay leaders and Riverside staff.

Current members are Church Council Chair Marilyn Mitchell, Angela Aidala, Karen Diggs, Alexa Donaphin, Kenneth J. Eisner, Brad Jones, Charles King, Lakeisha McCoy, Jean Schmidt, Regina Tate, Rev. Michael Livingston, Rev. Phil Tom, and Ugochi Onyeukwu.