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Peter J. Gomes

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Peter J. Gomes
Born May 22, 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts from Cape Verdean parents, Gomes graduated from Bates College in 1965 and Harvard Divinity School in 1968. He also spent time at the University of Cambridge and is now an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, where The Gomes Lectureship is established in his name. Gomes was ordained as an American Baptist minister by the First Baptist Church of Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1968. Gomes remains a member of First Baptist and occasionally preaches there. Since 1970, he has served in the Memorial Church of Harvard University; and since 1974 as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. Also at Harvard, he serves as faculty adviser of The Harvard Ichthus. Gomes is a leading expert on early American religion. He has been a visiting professor at Duke University as well as UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2008 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Westfield State College.

Widely regarded as one of America’s most distinguished preachers, Professor Gomes has fulfilled preaching and lecturing engagements throughout the United States and Great Britain. He was named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion and American Life. His New York Times and national best-selling books, The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons, the Book of Wisdom for Daily Living, were published by William Morrow & Company. He has published in total ten volumes of sermons, as well as numerous articles and papers.

His most recent work, The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus, includes extensive commentary and observation on the interrelations of Church and State throughout history and particularly in recent US history. On September 15, 2008 he appeared on The Colbert Report to promote his book. During this interview, he also states that he was baptized Catholic and claims gospels are "a dime a dozen."

Gomes surprised many when he revealed in 1991 that he is gay, and has since become an advocate for wider acceptance of homosexuality in American society. However, he has stated that he has remained celibate.

A lifelong Republican, Gomes offered prayers at the inaugurals of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. However, in August 2006 he moved his registration to Democrat, supporting the gubernatorial candidacy of Deval Patrick, who would later become the first African-American elected governor of Massachusetts. (Gomes, 2006) In 2008 Henry Louis Gates featured Gomes and his family on the PBS documentary African American Lives 2. A DNA test showed that Gomes is related to the Fulani, Tikar, and Hausa peoples of West Africa. Gomes is also descended from Portuguese Jews through his paternal grandfather who was born in the Cape Verde Islands

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