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For his father, Frank Forrester Church III, the former United States Senator, see Frank Church.
Rev. Dr. Forrest Church
Born Frank Forrester Church IV
September 23, 1948(1948-09-23)
Palo Alto, California
Died September 24, 2009 (aged 61)
Residence New York City, New York, United States
Education Stanford University (A.B., 1970)
Harvard Divinity School (M.Div., 1974)
Harvard University( Ph.D., 1978)
Occupation minister, author, and theologian
Employer Unitarian Church of All Souls, New York City, New York
Title Minister of Public Theology
Religious beliefs Unitarian Universalist
Spouse(s) Carolyn Buck Luce, (m. 1992–2009) «start: (1992)–end+1: (2010)»"Marriage: Carolyn Buck Luce, to Forrest Church" Location: (linkback:
Amy Furth Church (m. 1969–1991) «start: (1969)–end+1: (1992)»"Marriage: Amy Furth Church to Forrest Church" Location: (linkback:
Children 4
Parents Frank Forrester Church III
Bethine Clark Church

Frank Forrester Church IV (born September 23, 1948 in Palo Alto, California, died September 24, 2009) was a leading Unitarian Universalist minister, author, and theologian. He was Senior Minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, until late 2006 when he was appointed as Minister of Public Theology.[1]



Church was born in Palo Alto while his father, the future United States Senator Frank Church, was a student at Stanford Law School. He was raised in Boise, Idaho, after his father's graduation.[2]

Church is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Divinity School. He received a Ph.D. in early church history from Harvard University in 1978.

On February 4, 2008, Church sent a letter to the members of his congregation informing them that he had terminal cancer. He told them of his intention, which he successfully realized, to sum up his thoughts on the topics that had been pervasive in his work in a final book, entitled Love & Death.

Forrest Church died of esophageal cancer in New York City on September 24, 2009.[3]


Church is best known as a leader of liberal religion. Between 1985 and his death, he wrote or edited more than 20 books. These include technical studies of Christian and Gnostic literature, as well as over a dozen books addressing a wider audience.[1]

Books authored by Church include:

  • Father and Son: A Personal Biography of Senator Frank Church of Idaho
  • The trilogy A Humane Comedy: The Devil and Dr. Church, Entertaining Angels, and The Seven Deadly Virtues
  • Early Christian Prayer
  • Early Christian Hymns
  • The Essential Tillich
  • God and Other Famous Liberals: Recapturing Bible, Flag, and Family from the Far Right, Walker & Company, 1996 (ISBN 978-0802774835)
  • A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, with John A. Buehrens, Beacon Press, 1998 (ISBN 0807016160)
  • So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State, 2007 (ISBN 978-0151011858)
  • Freedom From Fear: Finding the Courage to Act, Love and Be (ISBN 0-312-32534-7)
  • Love & Death, Beacon Press, 2008 (ISBN 0807072931)

Books edited by Church:

  • Restoring Faith: America's Religious Leaders Answer Terror with Hope, Walker & Company, 2001 (ISBN 978-0802776327)
  • The Separation of Church and State: Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America's Founders, Beacon Press, 2004 (ISBN 9780807077221)

Television appearance

Church can be seen offering commentary in the History Channel documentary Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas.


  1. ^ a b Biography on All Souls NYC page, retrieved 10 June 2007.
  2. ^ "Things To Do When You Get Your Life Back", sermon by Forrester Church, November 14, 1999, retrieved 10 June 2007.
  3. ^ Associated Press, "Forrest Church dies of Cancer at age 61," cached at following site:

Love & Death, Beacon Press, 2008, ISBN# 0807072931

External links



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