Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz Jr., M.Div., Ph.D.


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Although John Lentz grew up in the Washington, DC, area, he became familiar with Ohio when he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he graduated with a degree in history. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School. His educational journey then took him to Scotland where he entered the Divinity School of the University of Edinburgh and attained his Ph.D. While there, he met and married his wife Deanne, a native of Minnesota.

Upon returning to the U.S., John served as co-pastor at a church in Winchester, Virginia, for five years before being called in 1994 as senior pastor to Forest Hill Church. John and Deanne reside in Cleveland Heights and raised their three now-adult children in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

While John’s predecessors had built a foundation of social action at Forest Hill Church, under John’s pastoral leadership the church has more fully embraced its role as a progressive church, actively speaking out against injustice wherever it exists and striving to build a beloved community that recognizes and affirms the image of God in every person. In John’s words, “When people enjoy their faith and their life, they celebrate and take risks. Then we can work together with energy and joy for each other and our community.”

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