The Rev. John Buchanan has never fit the mold associated with religious leaders.
In his January farewell sermon after more than 25 years as leader of one of Chicago’s most prominent congregations, the newly retired pastor called on congregants at Fourth Presbyterian Church to love their neighbor regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, economics or politics.
In 1985, the congregation elected Buchanan to serve as pastor and head of staff at Fourth Presbyterian Church. Since then, the congregation has grown from 2,800 to 6,000 members while Buchanan tackled controversial issues ranging from the ordination of gays to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.