Frontiers, Inc., is contending with crises at home and abroad—the resignation of five members of its U.S. board and the arrest of its missionaries in Egypt.
The U.S. board of directors of Frontiers—a missionary agency devoted to evangelizing the Muslim world—resigned on February 25, leaving only founder Greg Livingstone to run things. Former chairman Phil Elkins of Altadena, California, says board members quit over a leadership squabble with Livingstone and the international board, based in London. A new board took over on March 8, with Richard D. Love as U.S. director.
“There has been a stripping away of the ability of the U.S. board to function with any level of authority,” Elkins says. “We felt like we had reached the point where any decisions we made could be voided.” Elkins says the U.S. board has become advisory rather than autonomous in nature. According to Elkins, Livingstone forced the resignation of U.S. director Keith Butler over the “clear objection” of the U.S. board.
Livingstone acknowledges a “paradigm shift” in policy when the international and U.S. headquarters of the 11-year-old organization divided in 1991. He says the U.S. board continues to have fiduciary responsibility, but overall direction must come from the international board.
Only four days before the resignations, Egyptian Security Police arrested three Americans, a New Zealander, and an Egyptian for reportedly forming a secret Christian “missionary organization.” A trial for the five was tentatively set for late April.
Americans Robert M. Cunningham, Brian K. Eckheart, and Richard P. Dugan; New Zealander Thomas A. Martin; and Egyptian Abdul-Hamid Adil-Masah were placed in Tura Prison in Cairo. Wives of the American detainees initially ...1
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