Rev. Dr. Gregory G. Groover, Sr. is a native of Freeport, Long Island, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University School of Social Work, respectively. Rev. Groover completed his doctoral work (D.Min.) at the New York Theological Seminary. The focus of his demonstration project and dissertation was on the strategic development of faith based educational initiatives by urban African American congregations.
Reverend Groover worked as an adolescent/outpatient social worker at the St. Luke Hospital in Harlem, New York. In addition, he worked at the University Settlement House in lower Manhattan as a group worker for neighborhood teens. Finally, he worked in East Harlem, serving as a social work supervisor for the Edwin Gould Services for Children/United Families of East Harlem.
From 1987-94, Rev. Groover served as pastor of Bright Temple A.M.E. Church in the South Bronx. Rev. Groover’s pastoral work was prominently noted in the New York Times, New York Newsday, and Jonathan Kozol’s recent Amazing Grace (Crown Publishers, Inc, 1995). Mr. Kozol’s book and title was inspired by his time spent with Rev. Groover and his church. At Bright Temple, Reverend Groover initiated a number of ministries aimed at addressing the educational, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of inner-city children. Among them was his Building Great Minds Project, an after school leadership-building/socializations skills program for latency-age and adolescent children that was later adopted as a city-wide program administered by the Council of Churches of New York.
Rev. Groover was appointed Pastor of the Historic Charles Street A.M.E. Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts in June 1994. Since arriving, Rev. Groover has significantly restructured and decentralized the management apparatus of the church, and increased participation, diversity, and accountability to the church’s membership. In addition he established new ministries, fellowship clusters, and professional related alliances aimed at building the congregational life and maximizing avenues in which members could share and cultivate their skills, talents, and gifts. Under his pastorate at the Charles Street Church, thirty-two individuals have entered the ministry.
Rev. Groover is also very involved in the Greater Boston community. As Chairman of the Education Committee of the Black Ministerial Alliance (BMA), he was instrumental in bringing together public school officials, teachers, community leaders, parents and the clergy in the planning and the development of the BMA After School Program ($1.5 million initiative). Under his leadership, the BMA has sponsored numerous church based community education summits on the MCAS Exams, School Promotion and Attendance Policies, and other issues. Rev. Groover drafted and proposed his Ten Action Steps toward Becoming an Education Conscious Congregation, which was unanimously adopted by the BMA. He served as the BMA President from 2010-14.
Rev. Groover has served on the Board of Directors for several nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education, including the Boston TenPoints Coalition, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the YMCA of Greater Boston, Center for Collaborative Education and the Boston Plan for Excellence, Gordon College and Andover Newton Theological School.
As a Henry L. Shattuck Municipal Service recipient (City Champion Award, 2002), Rev. Groover has served on numerous public panels for the City of Boston. His services included being a member of the Mayor’s 2-6 After-school Initiative Task Force (1999), Search Committee for the Boston Police Department Commissioner (2003), Boston Public Schools Assignment Task Force (2004), and the Co-Chair, Search Committee for the Boston Public Schools Superintendent (2006-07). He served two terms on Boston School Committee (2007-2014) including four years as its chairperson.
Rev. Groover is married to the Rev. Barbara Ann Groover who serves as Minister to Women at the Historic Charles Street Church. The Groovers share two adult children; Gerami Greer and Gregory, Jr. (G Man).