Lee Spitzer is the executive minister and senior regional pastor of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey.

Lee’s articles that have appeared on EthicsDaily.com are available here.

1. Where did you grow up?

Although I was born in Brooklyn, New York, the first home I remember was in Far Rockaway, Queens.

2. What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why?

Matthew 1:21.

In my teenage years, upon encountering this verse, I realized that Jesus was my messiah. That began my journey as a disciple, more than four decades ago.

3. What is your favorite movie? Why?

“Lost Horizon” (1937).

This extraordinary story – starring Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt and Sam Jaffe, and based on the novel by James Hilton – about a place called Shangri-La enchanted me as a child and foreshadows many of the most significant spiritual journey themes of my life.

4. Who are three people you admire?

Shusaku Endo (a Japanese Christian novelist who wrote “Silence”), St. John of the Cross (author of “The Dark Night of the Soul”) and Abraham Joshua Heschel.

5. What is one little-known fact about you?

I believe in spreading goodwill in many directions; for example, I have embraced the existential challenge of being a fan of both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets – a dual allegiance that many believe to be an impossibility.

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