The Pasadena, California-based Fuller Evangelistic Association (FEA) is ending its operations after 62 years. The FEA last month announced that it would be closing, although the organization's board is exploring options to keep the ministry afloat, according to FEA financial adviser George Weinwurm.
Weinwurm says FEA is $1.5 million in debt, which it still aims to pay off through the disposal of its inventory of ministerial products and other assets. "[Board members] plan to see that FEA's creditors are provided substantial recovery without the necessity of a court proceeding," Weinwurm says. "The intention is not to shut the door and go away."
Weinwurm says decisions made by former executive officers Carl F. George and Claude Florent to expand FEA's church-growth ministry into high-tech ventures began to "overextend FEA's resources" (CT, June 19, 1995, p. 38).
However, Warren Bird, a former member of the FEA senior management team and an assistant to George, blames bad leadership from its board of directors.
Bird and George cite board president Daniel Fuller's dissensions with George and other board members as a driving force behind FEA's woes. George, 56, remained on a forced "sabbatical" for four months until his resignation as chief executive officer March 8.
Fuller, 70, is the son of the late Charles E. Fuller, who in 1933 founded the evangelistic radio ministry that would become FEA. Bird and George allege that Fuller's actions stem from a reluctance to take ministerial risks with an organization bearing his father's name.
Claude Florent, 37, who was fired last year from his position as FEA chief financial officer, filed a civil suit in May against FEA and George, who he says slandered him and damaged his reputation. Florent also has accused George of misappropriating ministry funds, a charge being investigated by the California Attorney General's Office.
Two legally separate organizations are not affected by the closing of FEA: Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, launched in 1947 by Charles E. Fuller and other noted evangelical leaders, such as Carl F. H. Henry and Harold Lindsell; and the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Canada.
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