Is your surname Church?

Research the Church family

Forrest Church's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Frank Forrester "Forrest " Church, IV

Birthdate: (61)
Death: 2009 (61)
Immediate Family:

Son of Frank Church, U.S. Senator and Bethine Church

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Forrest 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.


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.

Church was 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.


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.

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)
The American Creed: A Spiritual and Patriotic Primer, 2002 (ISBN 0-312-30344-0)
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.

view all

Forrest Church's Timeline

Age 61