Old South Church Welcomes Rev. John Edgerton as 21st Senior Minister

Boston, Massachusetts - September 7, 2023 - Old South Church in Boston, a historic, centuries-old congregation of the United Church of Christ, is thrilled to announce the arrival of Rev. John M. Edgerton as its 21st Senior Minister.

Rev. Edgerton is well-known to Old South Church, having served as their Associate Minister from 2012-2019. Since then, Edgerton went on to serve as the Senior Minister for First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois. 

Serendipitously, his start as Senior Minister falls on the eagerly anticipated “Welcome Back Sunday”, a special day marking the start of the program year. The central theme of the morning’s worship services will be "Coming Home," where the Old South community will share stories of rediscovery and resilience, celebrating the diverse journeys that bring individuals back to their spiritual home.

Rev. Edgerton's return to Old South Church is a momentous occasion, marking the beginning of a new era of spiritual growth, activism, and community building. His deep understanding of the church's ethos, coupled with his extensive experience, promises to enrich the lives of all who are part of this vibrant congregation.

Rev. Edgerton said, “Old South Church in Boston has been an active, engaged leader in the city of Boston for over three and a half centuries. From Nancy Taylor’s leadership on the Middle Passage markers project, to Jim Crawford tucking his six foot eight inch frame into a school bus to support desegregation efforts, to Jacob Manning’s abolitionism, Old South has worked hard to not only be a historic church, but to be on the right side of history.”

Much of Rev. Edgerton’s focus in ministry has been on the way Christians live their faith outside the walls of the church. His work in Illinois leading his congregation through a Lenten series on “Fasting from Whiteness” attracted national and international attention in 2022. His experience has earned him a leadership role in the national UCC, supporting churches to take prophetic action against racism and for LGBTQ inclusion. Rev. Edgerton’s deep commitment to social justice, intellectual rigor, and unwavering compassion resonated strongly with the congregation. Furthermore, his exceptional pastoral skills and dedication to fostering an inclusive and nurturing community were recognized as invaluable assets to the church's ongoing mission.

Rev. Edgerton’s arrival follows a year-long, church member-led discernment process, followed by a near-unanimous congregational vote this past June. 

All are invited to the Welcome Back Sunday services at 9am and 11am on September 10th. For more information, please visit oldsouth.org/welcome-back-sunday.