The Ministry of Raising the Dead

The church is filled with people whose faith, spirit and lives are “dead.” James Forbes walks through conditions that affect this reality and encourages pastors and leaders of the church to overcome fear and doubt to follow God’s call to bring life out of death.

Preacher: James Forbes

Text: Ezekiel 37:1-19

Sermon from The Black Theology and Leadership Institute
Princeton Theological Seminary, 2013


James Alexander Forbes, Jr., is distinguished Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church. Forbes, who was installed as the fifth Senior Minister of Riverside on June 1, 1989, is the first African-American to serve as Senior Minister of this multicultural congregation. He is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and the Original United Holy Church of America. This Pastor, Educator, Administrator, Community Activist and Interfaith Leader was designated as one of America’s greatest Black preachers by Ebony magazine in 1984 and 1993. He won the Alumni Charter Day Award of Howard University for Distinguished Post Graduate Achievement In Ministry. In 1995 he emerged in the Baylor University Survey as one of twelve remarkable and most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. Dr. Forbes has earned three degrees and has been awarded 13 honorary degrees. He earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY, in 1975; a Master of Divinity Degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, NY in 1962; and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1957.