Henry Greenidge Receives Irving C. Lambert Award

Post a Comment » Written on June 25th, 2008     
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GREEN LAKE, WI (June 25, 2008) – The Irving C. Lambert Award, which honors excellence in urban ministry, was presented today to Henry Greenidge, pastor of Irvington Covenant Church in Portland, Oregon.

The Urban Commission administers the award through the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). It was presented during today’s business session of the 123rd Annual Meeting. The accompanying photo shows President Glenn Palmberg (right) presenting the award to Greenidge, who was accompanied by his wife and brother.

For more than three decades, Greenidge has served the local church as well as the broader denomination in areas of compassion, mercy, and justice, as well as worship and Christian formation.

HenryIn presenting the award, Palmberg noted that he was superintendent of the North Pacific Conference when he first met Greenidge 18 years ago. The pastor was planting a multiethnic church, something Palmberg noted was rare in the Covenant at the time.

“He did it despite the advice that it wouldn’t work,” Palmberg said. The president added, “This denomination has an incredible debt of gratitude to Henry Greenidge. Many African American pastors found their way into the Covenant Church through him.”

The Lambert Award is the latest in a series of honors presented to Greenidge. North Park Theological Seminary granted him an honorary doctorate in 2007. In 2002, Greenidge received the Drum Major for Justice Award from the Skanner News Group during ceremonies in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Greenidge refers to the area surrounding Irvington Covenant as the “green zone,” a term he coined to contrast with past red lining, a now-outlawed practiced engaged in by some banks, real estate, and insurance companies to keep certain ethnic groups out of a neighborhood. “The green zone stands for growth,” he has said.

Greenidge guided the founding of Irvington Village, a Portland retirement community in which 70 percent of the 104 units were reserved for Medicaid recipients. When it opened in 2002, ECC President Glenn Palmberg said, “When God called Henry into Covenant ministry, he called him for more than local ministry. Henry has made an impact on the entire Portland community. He has emerged as a real leader. The Covenant Church is proud to have someone so beloved and respected in Portland.”

Covenanters also have been blessed through his participation in worship teams that ministered at pastors’ conferences, denominational annual meetings, and the Feast. Paul Lessard, who played alongside Greenidge, referred to him as the “pastor emeritus” of the worship teams.

Greenidge also served on the Book of Worship Commission and has served on the executive board of the North Pacific Conference.

Greenidge’s passion for community ministry formed as he watched his father, who was a pastor, minister to the residents throughout South Bronx, New York. 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 as a music director in New York, then served as Young Life area director in Seattle and as associate pastor for Maranatha Church in Portland before becoming pastor of Irvington Covenant.

Text of plaque:

The Irving C. Lambert Award is presented to Henry G. Greenidge in grateful recognition of your commitment and dedication to the cause of Christ, through urban ministries of evangelism, compassion, and justice.

Through the planting of a multiethnic congregation and shepherding the many ministries emanating from it, through the visioning and construction of affordable housing for seniors, you have served your community.

Through your service with the Ethnic and Worship Commissions, the African American Ministers Association, and as worship leader for numerous Covenant gatherings, extending and broadening the worship languages of the Covenant Church, you have served your denomination.

Through your extensive networking within the larger Christian community, and drawing on that network to attract gifted and godly leaders into the ministry of the Covenant, you have created a welcoming place for many who have now found a home in our fellowship; you have strengthened our diversity, and in doing these things, you have further built up the Body of Christ.

Through your pastor’s heart and your obedience to follow your call to ministry, you have served your God.

You have carried the gospel across boundaries of race, age, class, and gender. In all you do, you have shown a loving spirit and a deep devotion to Jesus Christ.

To the glory of God and in thanksgiving for this faithful servant, this award is presented by the Commission on Urban Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Presented on the 25th day of June 2008 in Green Lake, Wisconsin.

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