Rev. Clark Lobenstine was the Founding Executive Director of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC) from 1979-2014. In this role, he brought together the broad religious community in this region – Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Jewish, Latter-day Saints, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Sikh and Zoroastrian – to collaboratively advance justice, build community and nurture understanding.
Clark was born in China to Presbyterian missionary parents, and grew up in Colombia, Lebanon, Peru, Germany and the US. He matriculated at St. John’s College in Annapolis, graduating with his baccalaureate in 1967. He earned his M.S. in Social Work at the University of Louisville, and his Master of Divinity at Louisville Theological Seminary, followed by Doctor of Ministry studies at McCormack Theological Seminary in Chicago. He served on the national field staff of the University Christian Movement in New York, and as a social worker at Spring Grove State Hospital in Catonsville, MD. In 1975 he was named as the first Director of the United Crescent Hill Ministries in Louisville, where he served until 1979 when he was tapped to lead IFC as its first Executive Director in Washington DC. From that point on, Clark’s career and the history of IFC intertwine.
Clark Lobenstine’s extraordinary work has been recognized by a multitude of religious and community organizations, with awards and tributes including: The Myrtle Wreath Award from Hadassah (1987), the Certificate of Honor by Masjid Muhammad Mosque (1992), The Community Achievement Award from the Washington Psychiatric Society (1992), the Extraordinary Caring Award of the United Way, National Capital Area (1998), the first Humanitarian Award of the Prince George’s InterFaith Action Communities (2001), Mayor William’s Clergy Award for Distinguished Leadership in DC (2002), and being selected one of the 50 leading visionaries from around the world by the Temple of Understanding in New York City (2010).