The Fuller Evangelistic Association, having failed at two costly ministry initiatives, has cut its staff in half and trimmed its budget following the departure of two executives.

A leading church-growth authority, the Fuller Evangelistic Association (FEA) has started a top-to-bottom corporate restructuring, including the search for a new director.

The effort comes in the wake of the dismissal of treasurer and chief operations officer Claude Florent, the resignation of operations director Carl F. George, and the collapse of the association's ambitious Church Satellite Network (CSN) and Data Mirror church-growth projects.

In addition, more than half of FEA's 30 staff members have been laid off since late 1994. Altogether, the organization estimates a loss of more than $1 million and a current liability of $1.5 million to creditors, according to George Weinwurm, a Southern California-based business consultant and special FEA financial adviser.

FEA, also known as the Fuller Institute for Church Growth and Evangelism, has long been recognized as a top authority on the church-growth movement. With a mailing list of 30,000 pastors and laypeople, FEA's products and seminars have been in high regard among church leaders. The organization was founded by evangelist Charles E. Fuller, who died in 1968. An early pioneer in radio evangelism, Fuller also founded Fuller Theological Seminary, a separate institution.

COSTLY HIGH-TECH APPROACH: The seeds of FEA's difficulty were sown with the launching of Data Mirror and CSN as part of director Carl George's vision of using "a high-tech approach" in Christian ministry. Data Mirror functioned as an advanced consulting system that used computers to compare a church's personality profile to a database ...

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