The First Church Forum embraces the opportunity to explore faith as it impacts the whole of our lives — personal, political, and cultural. First Congregational Church of Burlington is very pleased to welcome former Governor Jim Douglas as our distinguished guest at the Forum on Sunday, May 31, following the 10 a.m. worship service. A Republican, Douglas was elected the 80th Governor of Vermont in 2002 and was reelected three times. Douglas is currently an Executive-in-Residence at Middlebury College, where he teaches a course titled “Vermont Government and Politics.” We will invite Governor Douglas to share his reflections and stories about life in the public square.
Born in Springfield, MA, Gov. Douglas holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies from Middlebury College. He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1972, and became the House Majority Leader during his third, two-year term at the age of 25. He left the Vermont General Assembly in 1979, later serving as a top aide to Governor Richard A. Snelling. Douglas was elected Secretary of State in November 1980, a post which he held until 1992. He was elected Vermont State Treasurer in 1994, after receiving the endorsement of both major parties. He served as Chairman of the National Governors Association from 2009 – 2010, and in early 2010, Douglas became the first American political leader to receive the National Order of Quebec from the government of Quebec. Premier Jean Charest recognized Governor Douglas for strengthening Vermont’s historical bonds with Quebec and making improved relations with the province a priority of his governorship.
Governor Douglas has been a member of the Middlebury Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, and for many years, he has been actively involved with the Vermont Conference UCC, including serving as Moderator. He is the recent author of a memoir, The Vermont Way, which takes a guided tour of 40 years of Vermont History and Politics.