Ralph Reed, 35
Executive director, Christian Coalition
"Vote for Ralph Reed: The Little Giant" was the motto of the then junior-high politico wannabe who was running for student council. Today, as executive director of the Christian Coalition—which represents, says Time magazine, "the most thorough penetration of the secular world of American politics by a religious organization in this century"—Ralph Reed is no longer a wannabe. In 1989 Reed met Pat Robertson, who asked for the young doctoral student's advice on how to revitalize his supporters after his failed presidential bid. After follow-up conversations, Robertson handed over his mailing list to Reed, which Reed translated into a community-based, local-issue-driven groundswell of politically active conservative Christians. Today his advice is solicited by a spectrum of leaders and politicians, usually Republicans, though he insists that CC members are not in the lap of the GOP: "They're conservative, religious people that are pro-life." Reed says he hopes that the CC will be a "long-term participant in American public life," working "to see a day when the sanctity of innocent life is enshrined in our laws and in the Constitution."
Bruce Main, 39
Founder, Urban Promise
When Bruce Main was a freshman at Azusa Pacific University, he asked himself, "Where in the U.S. are children and teens most needy?" After college and Fuller Seminary, he and his young bride, Pamela, moved to the economically depressed city of Camden, New Jersey. Nine years later he is still there, heading the organization he founded, Urban Promise, with its 30 full-time paid and volunteer staff and an annual budget of $1 million. The ministry sponsors ...