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Howard Moody, 91, pastor and social reformer

By Abigail Hastings


New York, September 13, 2012 -- The Rev. Howard R. Moody, 91, Minister Emeritus of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, which he pastored for 35 years, died September 12 at 4:13 p.m. of pneumonia and complications of cancer treatment, according to Dr. Deborah L. Moody, M.D., his daughter.

From his small
Greenwich Village congregation, Rev. Moody wielded an outsized influence on several major social-change movements of the 1960s-80s, particularly the struggles for abortion rights, free speech for artists, and more humane drug treatment policies. He not only preached prophetically on these issues, he also pioneered creative programs addressing them, first in Greenwich Village, and later, nationally.


"With his Marine-style crew cut, one's first impression was not that one was meeting with a pastor/social activist," aid the Rev. A. Roy Medley, president elect of the National Council of Churches.


"Yet, Howard was a moving force in the social changes that swept America from the Sixties on." said Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA. "He was not one to shun controversy in pushing the church to respond to he felt were the crying needs of the day. The love of Christ was his compelling guide and Howard's gentle, engaging spirit was his trademark. He shall be missed."

See the complete obituary at


Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 40 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

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