NEW YORK – July 17, 2022 – (

Reverend Adriene Thorne, leader of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, was elected by the Riverside Church congregation as the eighth senior pastor in church history. Rev. Thorne is the first African American woman to serve as a senior minister. She will take up her position on October 1.

“I am grateful to God for the blessed opportunity to bring my offerings to Riverside Church and join the faithful ministers there who tirelessly promote God’s fresh vision of the Beloved Community,” Rev. Thorne said. “In this tumultuous chapter in our nation’s history, I rejoice to lead a committed faith community that has the grace and power to right the damage done to God’s planet and its people.”

“I applaud and celebrate Riverside’s enthusiastic call for Rev. Adriene Thorne to become their eighth senior minister,” said Rev. Michael Livingston, who has served as interim senior minister since 2019. “Rev. Thorne brings a genuine pastoral presence and prophetic voice to Riverside. Her creative passion for music, art and dance deepens her broad experience as she begins this work. What a wonderful marriage of pastor and people this is going to be!”

Rev. Thorne was selected from a nationwide field of candidates by a specially appointed eleven-member lay senior ministerial search committee, supported by Riverside’s two denominational affiliations, the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches USA. The selection committee reviewed applications from dozens of people over the past 18 months.

Before becoming Riverside’s senior minister, Rev. Thorne had served the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn since 2016. Beginning in 2008, she spent eight years with the Middle Collegiate Church in various ministry capacities, graduating as Executive Secretary. With partners in the neighborhood, she co-founded the award-winning Brooklyn Heights…


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