When the Reverend Amy K. Butler was hired to lead Riverside Church in Manhattan in 2014, she was hailed as a rising star, the first woman to join a distinguished line of pastors at one of the preeminent progressive Protestant congregations in the United States.

Two years into her tenure, an influential former member of the church's governing council left a bottle of wine and a T-shirt on her desk, both with labels that read "Sweet B****," according to an internal investigation ordered by the church after Butler filed a formal complaint.

The former governing council member also sent suggestive