Committee Seeks New Pusey Minister

A search committee­­ formed by University President Drew G. Faust has begun its search for a new Pusey Minister at Harvard’s Memorial Church.

“I am committed to finding a minister who will lead a vibrant congregation and carry on the church’s rich tradition of preaching and pastoral work, while also engaging in a robust way the diverse religious communities across Harvard,” said Faust, who serves as the chair of the committee, in a statement.

The position of Pusey Minister has been vacant since the death of longtime Pusey Minister and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals Peter J. Gomes in February.

The committee, which includes professors, Harvard chaplains, and a diverse representation of other groups across the Harvard community, held its first meeting in May and reconvened in September.

The group plans to meet on a regular basis, but has not set a deadline to select a new minister, said Islamic Studies Professor Ali S. Asani ’77.

Asani said the committee is currently evaluating the candidates that have been nominated for the position through an open nomination process.

While the group is still in the early stages of the search, committee members expressed enthusiasm at the task at hand.

“The president has appointed a very thoughtful committee to work hard at what is a significant task,” said University Marshal and committee member Jackie A. O’Neill, who handles important visiting guests and functions at the University. “We all know that Peter Gomes was an iconic member of our community. We’re working hard to find someone [to follow him].”

Memorial Church followers say that Gomes will indubitably be a tough act to follow. Gomes became a prominent face on campus and garnered international recognition during his nearly 35 years as the church’s Pusey Minister.

“While attendance at some college churches has dwindled, it has not at all at Memorial Church,” said Divinity School Professor Emeritus Harvey G. Cox Jr. this March. “Part of the reason for this is the eloquence of Peter’s preaching and his welcoming attitude.”

Reverend Wendel W. “Tad” Meyer has served as the church’s acting minister since March. Meyer rejoined the clergy in December of 2010 as the associate minister for administration under Gomes. He had previously served as associate minister from 1997 to 1999.

—Staff writer Justin C. Worland can be reached at jworland@college.harvard.edu.

Tags