On Post-Obama Black America: A Post-Secular Perspective
An America’s Founding and Future Lecture
Reverend Eugene Rivers, Pastor, Azusa Christian Community
James Madison Program's Annual Black History Month Event
Reverend Eugene F. Rivers, 3d is Pastor of the Azusa Christian Community, a Pentecostal church whose pastor is ordained within the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and located in the Four Corners section of Dorchester, Massachusetts where he also lives with his wife, Jacqueline C. Rivers, and their children.
Rev. Rivers was born in Boston and reared in South Chicago and North Philadelphia. He was educated at Harvard University, and has worked on community development and various aspects of Christian activism for nearly thirty years, especially on behalf of the black poor. As President of the National Ten Point Leadership Foundation he has worked to build new grassroots leadership in forty of the worst inner city neighborhoods in inner city America by the year 2006. He serves on the board of The Ella J. Baker House (www.theellajbakerhouse.org), the separate 501 (c)(3) non-profit originally created by the Azusa Christian Community, which provides street intervention, education and mentoring for hundreds of youths in Dorchester and elsewhere in Boston each year.
Rev. Rivers has appeared on CNN’s Hardball, NBC’s Meet the Press, PBS’s The Charlie Rose Show, and BET’s Lead Story, and National Public Radio, among other programs. He has been featured or provided commentary for publications such as Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe, as well as periodicals such as the Boston Review, Sojourners, Christianity Today and Books and Culture. He has lectured at numerous universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Calvin College. He has also authored or co-authored numerous essays, including On the Responsibility of Intellectuals in an Age of Crack, Beyond the Nationalism of Fools: A Manifesto for a New Black Movement, Black Churches and the Challenge of U.S. Foreign and Development Policy (2001), An Open Letter to the U.S. Black Religious, Intellectual, and Political Leadership Regarding AIDS and the Sexual Holocaust in Africa (1999), and A Pastoral Letter to President George W. Bush on Bridging our Racial Divide (2001).
Rev. Rivers is now General Secretary of the Pan African Charismatic Evangelical Congress (www.pacec.org) that was formed to organize churches in the U.S. to assist their counterparts in Africa in dealing with the AIDS in Africa pandemic, as well as advocating for changes in foreign and development policies of the U.S. vis-à-vis Africa. He spoke at the 1998 meeting of the World Council of Churches to urge them to act in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.