North Park University to Honor Greenidge at Commencement

Post a Comment » Written on April 10th, 2007     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (April 10, 2007) – Henry Greenidge, pastor of Irvington Covenant Church in Portland, Oregon, will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Ministry during the North Park Theological Seminary commencement on May 19.

The larger Evangelical Covenant Church family, as well as residents in the Portland community around his church, have benefited from his ministry for more than three decades. Because of his leadership, he once was called the “pastor emeritus” of the worship teams that ministered for years at Midwinter pastor conferences, denominational annual meetings, and The Feast.

GreenidgeA past president of the African American Ministers Association, he is completing his term on the Executive Board of the North Pacific Conference and is helping rewrite curriculum for churches to use in orientation classes for new members.

Residents of Portland have recognized him for his contributions. In 2002, Greenidge received the Drum Major for Justice Award from the Skanner News Group during ceremonies commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Irvington Covenant sits in the middle of a two-square-block area that Greenidge refers to as the “green zone.” He came up with the name as one means of contrasting with a past practice called “red lining,” a now-outlawed practice engaged in by some banks and some real estate and insurance companies as a way of keeping certain ethnic groups out of particular neighborhoods. “The green zone stands for growth,” he explains.

The church’s work has included numerous services to the community, including an assisted living center that caters primarily to low-income residents. As a result, Irvington Covenant has earned the respect of people from different faith traditions and neighbors who claim no faith commitment.

Greenidge says he acquired his passion for community ministry from his father, a pastor in the South Bronx in New York City. At a time when ministers in his father’s denomination only attended to matters within the church, “He was really a pastor to our neighborhood.”

“I was absolutely speechless,” Greenidge says of learning he would be awarded the honorary doctorate. “My jaw dropped. That’s a real honor.”

Greenidge earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Nyack Missionary College in Nyack, New York. He studied youth ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and became an ordained minister in 1975, receiving a ministerial license from the Covenant in 1988.

Greenidge began his career as a music director in New York, later serving as Young Life area director in Seattle and as an associate pastor at Maranatha Church in Portland before becoming senior pastor of Irvington Covenant.

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