Welcoming the Beloved Community into the Present, leading through conversation, renewing through relationships, inspiring through shared experiences, tending the field of the future in which all flourish: I find joy in bringing diverse people together in an open space where new communities of action emerge.
Since 2005, The Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer has led Florida’s historic Protestant churches in public witness for the commons. Working with a multi-faith commitment from a holistic perspective, he accents the values of our shared humanity. His doctoral work focused on designing community conversations that lead to collective action using social field theory.
Rev. Meyer engages in statewide interfaith efforts on climate, healthcare, justice reform, refugees, and civic engagement. He leads the newly created Florida Faith Advocacy Office of the Council. As a founding member of the Real Talk Coalition on Education Equity, he is a leading spokesperson for addressing historic disparities in public education. In 2017, the state legislative appointed him to the Dozier Memorial Task Force. He co-chairs the Suncoast Sea Level Rise Collaborative at St. Petersburg College founded through the Institute of Strategic Policy Solutions and convenes the Florida Interfaith Climate Actions Network. An advocate of One Tampa Bay – a model of communal intention for the well-being of all in the bio-region – he has helped lead to proclamations that the City of St. Petersburg is a City of Compassion and a City of International Peace. Since the killing of Trayvon Martin, he has supported and helped organize numerous public events for a just society. He is passionate about realizing an anti-racist society.
Rev. Meyer has dual ministry roles. As the Missional Pastor of the Lutheran Urban Parish of Tampa (St. Paul and Faith Lutheran Churches), he leads their ministries of renewal, focusing on urban justice. As Executive Director for the Florida Council of Churches, he serves to elevate the faith of churches whose million members anchor communities across Florida. He has also taught collegiate courses in ethics and world religions. During his previous tenure in Lakeland, he presided over the local ecumenical council and helped found the Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment (PEACE – an interfaith community organization). He has served on various national faith committees.
Previously Rev. Meyer served congregations in Lakeland FL, Charleston SC, Towson MD, and Wantagh NY.
- 2013 – Doctor of Ministry, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC with Certificate in Christian & Islamic Relations
- 1981 – Master of Divinity, Yale Divinity School, New Haven CT
- 1978 – Bachelor of Arts, Baker University, Baldwin City KS
In a true conversation, we unlearn the boundaries of our identity. This is not about forgetting who we are, but relaxing the limits by which we have identified who others are. We listen no longer for the differences. We listen for how the other finds connection with the whole we find ourselves connected too. Together, we realize our common bond of being connected to the Whole that names each of us.