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Interfaith leader’s retiring rallying cry: ‘Get back to Christ’

Dr. William H. Mackintosh, founding director of Interfaith Communications International, was honored at a June 10 retirement banquet at Loyola University New Orleans for his interfaith efforts in New Orleans since 1983.

Mackintosh was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans from 1983-93, and he later entered the Catholic Church. His father, Dr. William Mackenzie Mackintosh, was a native of the Highlands of Scotland and later a Presbyterian-Baptist pastor in Denver. Echoing his father’s last words – delivered during a sermon just before he died of a heart attack – Mackintosh told the audience at Loyola University New Orleans: “Get back to Christ, get back to Christ!” Mackintosh said his father’s head “hit the pulpit Bible, and he fell into the loving arms of God.” The quest for Christian unity, Mackintosh said, should “never be for the fattening of the size of denominations but solely that the world might believe.” Mackintosh, who is married to sacred artist Ruth Goliwas, said there are 44,000 Christian denominations in the world, “each of us proclaiming, ‘Jesus loves you.’”

He said he shares Jesus’ vision of unity: “This is a sign that you are my disciples – that you love one another.” That is “so simple and so profound. Loving those who love you is so easy, but can you love those who seek you harm?” Interfaith Communications International sponsors interfaith workshops and prayer services throughout the year.

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