Manning to Begin August 1 as 2022-2024 Monie Pastoral Resident
Peter Manning is not the conventional candidate for ministry, nor for a program such as the Monie Pastoral Residency. Admittedly “conventional candidates” are fewer and fewer as second (or more) career individuals are increasingly represented among those seeking to serve the church as pastors.
While Peter’s life’s work and experiences make him perhaps more unique to the role than others, he stands out because of his heart for the church and for God’s people. This was readily evident to Revs. Matthew Ruffner and Mark Brainerd, when they first met Peter last winter during interviews on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary.
“We were struck by Peter’s genuine nature, his clarity of call and openness to God’s Spirit leading his life,” Brainerd said. “In fact, several people familiar with Peter on campus said, ‘He’ll never leave New York City, much less move to Texas!’ Yet here we are. God had other plans, and we could not be more thrilled!”
Peter spent years in the theater, producing plays in New York City, many with large casts and crews. One of his productions, a play called Side Man, won a Tony Award. It played off-Broadway, Broadway, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and In London’s West End. He has worked in real estate development. He also founded and created an eponymous online clothing company for men 5’8” and under. The business began out of his home in 2011 and grew to be a highly successful business shipping to 50 states and 17 foreign countries. He stepped away from the company in 2019 to pursue a call to full-time ministry.
An ordained Ruling Elder and Deacon, Peter has been a member at The Brick Presbyterian Church in Manhattan since 2001 where he raised his daughter in the church. A significant contribution that he has made to his church is the discernment, creation and sustaining of a thriving Youth Ministry.
Both members and Pastors of Brick Church share affinity and appreciation for Peter and his gifts. “Peter is full of energy, insight and ideas,” says Stephana Bottom, a church friend of nearly 20 years. “To hear Peter speak now of his faith walk and his journey is a thing of beauty. He has always had the ability to appeal to youth, and his many world experiences enable him to relate to adults of many walks of life.”
Rev. Adam Gorman says, “Peter has been a minister way before he ever knew he was a minister. He will do anything for God and all God’s children. He is kind, caring and loving in nature.”
Peter’s discernment process included his work with youth at Brick Church, along with mission experiences and leading small groups. As he continued to explore the possibilities for a call to ministry and prior to seminary, Peter took a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he worked extensively in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, walking families through the most difficult circumstances.
Seminary classmate and friend, Jamie White, shares that Peter’s posture is one of “tell me why this matters to this broken world…help me understand how this will help us love God more faithfully.” On further reflection, Jamie says, “Peter is serious about following Jesus and his own life experiences in business and theater over many years have only served to inspire his very real and compelling call to ministry.”
In reflecting on the community to which he believes God is calling him, Peter says, “God is calling me to a people open to the transforming work of the Spirit and committed to Jesus’ call on their lives. I seek a congregation who is committed to a call to love their neighbor, in whatever way that is true for them and to the renewing of their minds.” He continues, “I am called to a setting where people are committed to intentional, beautiful, thoughtful, life-giving and holy worship and to deep and abiding fellowship with one another.”
Peter says that because he has an architecture degree, he thinks a lot about how space and design shape us. He is called into spaces that are used well and well cared for and he believes there are many ways this can look. “That said, it is people who are the Church and not the buildings and it is people to whom I am called and prepared to pastor.”
Peter is the father of a young adult daughter, adopted at birth. He holds a B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
We look forward to welcoming Peter as he begins his ministry with us on August 1 as the 2022-2024 Monie Pastoral Resident. His first Sunday in worship will be August 7, and there will be opportunities following both services to say hello and become acquainted. You are invited to send him your greetings now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Monie Pastoral Residency is made possible by families and individuals with the foresight to create an opportunity for a recent seminary graduate to share with us in ministry as they serve and learn alongside our staff and church members. We are deeply grateful for this program and the generosity and vision that empowers it. If you have questions about the program, contact Rev. Mark Brainerd at email@example.com.