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This profile was last updated on 10/9/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. William H. Harter

Wrong Dr. William H. Harter?


National Christian Leadership Conference
Phone: (763) ***-****  HQ Phone
National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel
P.O. Box 158
Anoka , Minnesota 55303
United States

Company Description: NCLCI publishes a paper, Honor the Promise, and insider reports on specific issues to increase Christian understanding and appreciation of Israel and the Jewish...   more

Employment History

  • Pastor
    Falling Spring Presbyterian Church

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Williams College
  • master's degree , education in the social sciences
    Harvard University
  • doctorate
    Union Theological Seminary
52 Total References
Web References
National Council, 9 Oct 2013 [cached]
Dr. William H. Harter, Secretary-Treasurer Rev. Bill Harter is pastor of Falling Springs Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg, PA. He has been a member of the National Middle East Task Force of the United Presbyterian Church (USA), the National Council of Churches Committee on Christian-Jewish Relations, the World Council of Churches Consultation on the Church and the Jewish People, and the Christian Study Group on Judaism and the Jewish People. He was the primary coordinator of the conference of Christians leaders that met in Washington, DC, in 1978 to discuss Christian support for Israel from which National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel was born, he is another of the five founders of NCLCI.
Dr. William H. Harter, Treasurer
America Israel Friendship League | Press Room, 8 April 2013 [cached]
Present at the event were a wide range of pro-Israel activists, from CUFI's Eastern Regional Coordinator Victor Styrsk, to William Harter, a member of the executive committee for the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI).
Harter, a Presbyterian, is active in opposing the BDS Movement (boycott/divestment/sanctions), which seeks to marginalize Israel.
"What is going on here is critical, and we have no time to waste," Harter said.
We would like to highlight the following blog posting which features AIFL Board Member, Rev. William H. Harter and the important work of AIFL.
Rev. William Harter (fourth from left) with his AIFL delegation, at the famed Jewish synagogue in Capernaum.
It was in a darkened basement in an Egyptian hotel where Bill Harter got his first real education regarding the Middle East's various conflicts.
The date was June, 1967, and Harter, now pastor emeritus of the Presbyterian Church of Falling Spring, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, was with a tour group at the precise moment hostilities erupted between Egypt and Israel.
It was obviously a chaotic time," Harter now recalls.
Harter recently returned from leading a delegation of Presbyterians in Israel.
Harter has been a key member, and serves on the AIFL board. His presence there has helped in many ways, including as a key player in the efforts to block divestment initiatives.
As a long-time Presbyterian, Harter strongly opposes the movement:
Indeed, Harter represents a balanced voice in the often-volatile "pro Israel, pro Palestinian" church world. Harter is neither as strident as some Christian Zionist groups, nor is he an advocate of the "Peace Now" community. Rather, he understands the need to alleviate suffering on both sides.
"Clergy and elders of the Presbyterian Church who participated in the delegation are committed to building bridges for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and to increased understanding between Jews, Christians, and Muslims throughout the world," says Harter. Further, he is committed to "the legitimate rights and aspirations of the [Jewish and Palestinian] peoples in their national homelands and a 'two-state' resolution of the conflict."
During the delegation tour of Israel, Harter says "We became acquainted with the diverse minority populations within Israel and saw the determination of both Jewish and Arab leaders to create equality of opportunity and increased parity in politics, the arts, jurisprudence, and economic development.
At the PCUSA's General Assembly in Pittsburgh, in July, 2012, Harter and friends helped narrowly defeat a motion to divest from companies doing business in Israel.
"Bill is helping lead some of our study tour groups to Israel-a major priority for us-and his knowledge and compassion for all people is helping break down walls of misunderstanding."
Yet Harter believes his personal background prepared him very well for that role.
"As a young kid growing up in western New York, about 20 miles east of Buffalo, my community had exactly one Jewish family," Harter remembers.
That background and influence provided an opportunity for young Bill Harter to develop a lifelong love for Jewish studies. He originally planned to go into medicine, but decided instead to study at Union Seminary and later Harvard. He emerged with a pastor's heart, and advocating for the Jewish community and bridge building became a hallmark. Today, along with his friends at the AIFL, and NCLCI friends like Dr. Richard Lux, and evangelical scholar JoAnn Magnuson, Bill Harter is positive about the future.
America Israel Friendship League | Board of Directors, 30 Dec 2013 [cached]
Rev. William H. Harter
Executive Committee, 9 Oct 2013 [cached]
Rev. Dr. William H. Harter SECRETARY-TREASURER -
Bill Harter comes from pioneer ..., 28 April 2012 [cached]
Bill Harter comes from pioneer stock. The Pennsylvania Presbyterian hails from Clarence, New York, in Erie County. The early settlers in that area literally carved-out lives and careers in what was once the western frontier.
That pioneering spirit is very much with the Rev. William Harter today. A leading light in the mainline advocating strongly for orthodox faith, he is also a bit of an anomaly, especially in those circles "back East."
Harter, you see, loves Israel and the Jewish people.
A tireless activist for the Jewish state, Harter is a long-time member of the executive committee for The National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI), and for the past half-dozen years, has lent his expertise in interfaith dialogue and advocacy for Israel to a powerhouse New York group, the America-Israel Friendship League. In particular, the latter group is most appreciative of the heart Rev. Harter brings to his work.
"Bill is helping lead some of our study tour groups to Israel -- a major priority for us -- and his knowledge and compassion for all people is helping break down walls of misunderstanding."
So, just how did a nice mainline boy from New York find himself in the thick of Jewish-Christian dialogue?
Rev. Bill Harter (NCLCI) "As a young kid growing up in western New York, about 20 miles east of Buffalo, my community had exactly one Jewish family," Harter remembers.
That background and influence provided an opportunity for young Bill Harter to develop a lifelong love for Jewish studies.
At one point along the journey, Harter became even more immersed in Jewish studies, and a major turning point was just around the corner.
Harter spent two months in Jordan on his first trip, and 10 months on the Israeli side, studying at the Hebrew University.
"Well, '67 was a major watershed in Christian-Jewish relations," Harter remembers, "particularly because of the reaction [mixed] that Israel's victory received from mainline churches. A number of leading theologians were extremely critical of Israel. Prior to that time, the Jewish-Christian relationship in the U.S. was focused on social issues, civil rights. On this issue of the Six Day War, a tremendous divide took place."
Besides being part of scholarly study groups navigating the question of Israel's place in history and modern geopolitics, Harter became involved in another issue.
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