The Rev. Scott Black Johnston, pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City is the featured preacher Nov. 4 and 11 on “Day 1,” the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program also accessible online at

Black Johnston came to Fifth Avenue Presbyterian in 2008 after serving as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga. Before that he was associate professor of homiletics and liturgics at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Tex. 

A graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota, he earned his master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Ordained in 1991, he has also served congregations in North Brunswick, N.J., and in San Antonio, Dallas, and Bertram, Tex. 

Black Johnston’s sermon for Nov. 4, based on Psalm 30, is entitled “Will This Sermon Make You Happy?”

“Some psychologists are now asking: Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves to think positively — to be happy — all the time?” he says. “As people of faith, we may want to reframe that same question in our own way. Is happiness a Christian virtue? Does God expect us to be happy? Can church — can faith — make you a happier person?”

His message for Nov. 11, “The Witness of Stones,” is based on the Palm Sunday account in Luke 19:36-40, but focuses on Jesus’ strange pronouncement.

“At the end of his life’s journey, the Messiah rode an unbroken colt into Jerusalem. No trumpet’s blare, only the clip-clop of hooves on cobblestones announced his arrival,” Black Johnston says. “The locals sang their welcome. They hollered their praise. Although, if they had been silent, Jesus says, even the stones would have cried out.” 

The program includes interviews with Black Johnston conducted by Peter Wallace, who is also executive producer of “Day 1.”

“Day 1” has been broadcast every week for more than 67 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta.