Reverend / Executive Minister, Communities in Mission, United Church of Canada, Toronto, ON. Born: Jamaica
Michael Blair serves as the Executive Minister for the Program Unit, Communities in Mission, at the United Church of Canada. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Toronto Christian Resource Centre in Regent Park, the Community Chaplain with the Ontario Multi-faith Council’s Reintegration Program (2002-03), and a Congregational Minister in Toronto and St. Catherines with the Baptist Church.
During his 20-year career, he has managed several churches of varying sizes and delivered workshops on the topic of cultural diversity.
Highlights: Pastoral Team Leader, Walmer Rd. Baptist Church (1995-2001); Chaplain, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (1993-95); Senior Pastor, Facer St. Baptist Church (1989-92); Senior Pastor, Dufferin St. Baptist Church (1986-88). He has also been a Lecturer on “mul- ticulturalism and the Church” at Tyndale and Wycliffe Colleges.
Affiliations: Chair, Missions in Culture Commission Baptist Convention of Ontario & Quebec (1999-2001); Member, Public Affairs Committee, Canadian Baptist Ministries (1998-2000); Chair, Black Caucus, Tyndale College & Seminary (1998-2001); Board of Governors, Tyndale College & Seminary (1997-2000).
Community: Including, Coordinator, Downtown East Christian Leadership Network, since 2004; Member, Metro Black Clergy Association (1995-2001).
Honours: Alumni of the Year, Tyndale College (2000).
Education: Master of Religion, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto (1985); Bachelor of Arts, University of Waterloo (1982); Bachelor of Theology, Ontario Bible College (1981).
Favourite book? Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. I appreciated the interaction between father and son, but also the possibility of forgiveness.
Favourite quote? Paul Ricoeur says: “In order to change a man’s (person’s) behaviour you must first change his imagination.”
Given the chance, what would you do that you haven’t done yet? Travel to Asia.
Who inspires you? Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, and Ruby Blair (my mom).
Why do you do what you do? I love to help people expand their imagination.