Hillary Clinton Wants To Be A Lay Preacher. Here’s What Her Spiritual Adviser Says.

By Martha Quillin
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Rev. Bill Shillady, who has been a friend and a pastor to the Clinton family for 15 years says Hillary is not interested in attending seminary or becoming an ordained minister, but she has expressed interest in preaching. Shillady adds, that in the Methodist tradition, “The laity have been known to take the pulpit.”


Hillary Clinton wants to be a preacher, and a Duke Divinity School alum who served as her spiritual adviser during the 2016 presidential campaign says Clinton would be powerful in the pulpit.

“I think she would be a terrific preacher,” said the Rev. Bill Shillady, who has been a friend and a pastor to the Clinton family for 15 years. “She knows her Bible, and she loves people and she loves God.”

Shillady met Clinton in 2002 at a memorial service for 9/11 victims in New York. She was a New York senator at the time and Shillady was pastor of Park Avenue United Methodist Church on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Shillady is a native of Reading, Pa., who studied religion and business administration at Lebanon Valley College.

He earned a master’s in divinity from Duke in 1981 and a doctor of ministry degree from Drew Theological School in 1993.

Since 2008, Shillady has been executive director of the New York-based United Methodist City Society, which supports United Methodist churches and their programs.

After the memorial service, Shillady said Hillary Clinton brought her daughter, Chelsea, to Sunday services at his church. He became friends with the family and served in a pastoral role for the Clintons. He co-officiated Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to Marc Mesvinsky in July 2010 and led the memorial service for Hillary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham, in 2011. He would have meals with the family from time to time, he said, usually around holidays.

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