Rev. Henry Greenidge to Receive Honorary Doctorate

Rev. Henry Greenidge

CHICAGO, IL (April 11, 2007) – North Park Theological Seminary will award an honorary doctorate of ministry to Henry Greenidge, pastor of Irvington Covenant Church, in Portland, Ore., at Commencement on Saturday, May 19 at 10 a.m. in Anderson Chapel.

Members of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) across the country and residents in the 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 ministers conferences, denominational annual meetings, and The Feast.

He is a past president of the African-American Ministers Association, is finishing 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 work. In 2002, Greenidge received the Drum Major for Justice Award from the Skanner News Group during ceremonies in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Irvington Covenant sits in the middle of a two-square-block area Greenidge refers to as the "green zone." He came up with the name to contrast with past red lining, a now-outlawed practiced engaged in by banks, real estate and insurance companies to keep certain ethnic groups out of a neighborhood. "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 respect from people of different faiths and neighbors who claim no faith commitment.

Greenidge says he developed his passion for ministry to the community from his father, a pastor in the South Bronx, N.Y. At a time when ministers in his father's denomination attended only 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 doctorate. "My jaw dropped. That's a real honor."

Greenidge earned a bachelor of music degree from Nyack Missionary College in Nyack, N.Y. He studied youth ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and became an ordained minister in 1975, receiving a ministerial license from the ECC 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 Irvington Covenant.