New York City Mayor Eric Adams today created the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnership (OFCP). The office — created with the signing of an executive order by Mayor Adams.
Led by Pastor Gilford Monrose, who will serve as a conduit between city government, the faith-based community throughout New York City, and nonprofit organizations.
OFCP will seek to improve the welfare of all New Yorkers and will be housed within the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU).
“Our faith community has gone above and beyond the past two years, working tirelessly to keep our people fed, safe, and healthy, mentally and physically,” said Mayor Adams. “It’s past time that the city recognized the critical role they play in uplifting people across our city. I have had the privilege of working alongside Pastor Monrose for several years and have gotten to witness firsthand his talent for building bridges between diverse communities. I thank him for joining our administration in this newly created office and look forward to working with faith leaders across our city to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”
“The faith-based community is a fundamental partner in the work that our office does every day,” said CAU Commissioner Fred Kreizman. “I’m thrilled to be working with Pastor Monrose in order to continue this partnership and work together towards our shared goals.”
“I am humbled to join the administration as head of OFCP,” said Pastor Gilford Monrose, executive director, Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships. “Mayor Adams has always recognized the important work faith leaders across our city do to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers, and this new office will engage these communities to address issues affecting our city, from gun violence to hate crimes, and uplift people across the five boroughs.”
“The Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships reminds us that though we may travel on separate paths to our respective houses of worship, there comes a time when we of many faiths must walk together as one family with strength and support for one another,” said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president, New York Board of Rabbis. “We are a divided country but spiritually we are a united community.”
“I welcome Mayor Adams’ announcement of an Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships in his administration,” said Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer, executive director, Interfaith Center of New York. “Having witnessed first-hand, for many years, the power of grassroots faith leaders to strengthen New York City’s communities, I am certain that this Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships will help ensure that diverse communities of faith contribute to our vibrant democracy in years to come.”
“The Muslim Community Network proudly endorses the significant need to have Mayor Adams’ new Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships,” said Dr. Debbie Almontaser, CEO and founder, Bridging Cultures Group Inc. “This office gives voice to the multi-religious communities of New York City — an important voice that has not been heard. In partnership, we people of faith will stand shoulder to shoulder to care for beloved communities in every neighborhood across the city.”
“I am very happy to see the creation of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships,” said Evan R. Bernstein, national director, Community Security Service; and co-founder, New York City Interfaith Security Council. “Thank you, Mayor Eric Adams and the City of New York, for leading this critical initiative at a time when we are seeing a rise in hate crimes that impact religious minority groups across the city. Partnership and dialogue are critical in fighting hate and this office will help foster both.”
“As a technical assistance provider for faith-based institutions and nonprofits across the five boroughs of New York City for the past 30 years, I am acutely aware of the disparities and lack of support and information needed for these organizations to survive and thrive for such a time as this,” said Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver Durrah, founder and president, Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic. “In his wisdom, Mayor Eric Adams has saw fit to establish an Office for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships, where there will be a direct line to City Hall. The faith and nonprofit community have been talking to City Hall on a party line for far too long. We now have the direct number, and we are ready to assist these organizations in accessing the resources. Thank you, Mayor Adams, for believing in getting the resources available from City Hall out to all the neighborhoods of New York City.”
“Mayor Adams has always been a leader who has approached issues with a holistic perspective. The expanded Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships further exemplifies the mayor’s leadership approach,” said Rev. Charles O. Galbreath, Ph.D., senior pastor, Clarendon Road Church; and associate dean, Alliance Theological Seminary. “Our city is facing historic challenges that demand an extraordinary response. The expanded role of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships is one of those needed responses to galvanize the religious and cultural diversity that is New York City. The challenges are great, but with faith, nothing is impossible.”
“As a rabbi in New York City, I am excited to see a vision for active engagement with the faith community through the mayor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships,” said Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All. “This office will have a positive impact on all our city’s citizens and will increase faith communities’ access to necessary services and programs — increasing equity and advancing civic engagement. My community and I look forward to being part of these efforts and to helping New Yorkers of all backgrounds thrive.”
“The Buddhist Council of New York, and the multiethnic communities for which it represents, is extremely excited to support Mayor Adams’ new Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships,” said James A. Lynch, president, Buddhist Council of New York. “In this time of unparalleled uncertainty, change, and challenge, the importance of all New Yorkers participating in the life of the city is more critically needed than ever. Indeed, religious communities and the faiths that they represent have always played an important role in the city’s overall health and continuing growth. Mayor Adams’ bold and imaginative step of establishing this office is a clear recognition of the ongoing partnership between the city and various faith communities, as well as a genuine pathway forward for those on the margins of our society, who all too often feel silenced and forgotten. Thank you, Mayor Adams.”
“As believers in the Supreme Universal Being, we all have a place in the community and a role to uplift, care, and protect each other,” said Acharya Vijah Ramjattan, founder and president, Madrassi Association Inc. “While we rely on our individual faith traditions for guidance in our day-to-day lives, collectively as residents of one city, we hold on to one truth, that we are each other’s keepers and trust that God acts through us. I commend and congratulate Mayor Adams on the establishment of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships as this office, among many things, will serve to ensure we, a city of faith, lead with faith.”
“A society is as healthy as the people that comprise them and the institutions created by the people,” said Pastor Warner A. Richards, Psy.D., MHC-LP., assistant to the president, Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “The Seventh-day Adventist Churches of New York is in full support of the mayor’s expansion of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnership. For we believe that a wholesome society is comprised of individuals who are enjoying a harmonious interface between their physical, mental, interpersonal, and spiritual health. Therefore, an initiative such as this one will foster that harmonious interface.”
“In the year 2022, faith will be the strength needed to free us from fear and encourage all to coexist in peace. This is the true path to happiness and peace,” said Venerable Youwang Shih, president, International Buddhist Progress Society.
Pastor Gilford Monrose
Pastor Gilford Monrose serves as executive director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships.
This office builds bridges among city government, diverse religious communities, and nonprofit organizations to better serve all New Yorkers. He previously served as faith director at the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President.
He is the lead pastor of Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day and founding president of two Brooklyn-based nonprofit organizations, the 67th Precinct Clergy Council Inc. (“The God Squad”) and the Brooklyn Center for Quality Life.