The 16-member executive board of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has unanimously recommended that the 57-year-old organization based in Carol Stream, Illinois, relocate to Azusa, California.

The entire NAE board—which numbers 154—will vote on the proposal September 13. If ratified, the move would be effective October 15. The proposal came from Kevin W. Mannoia only a week after he assumed full-time duties as NAE president. He wrapped up duties as a bishop for the Free Methodist Church in Rancho Cucamonga, California, in July.

Mannoia, who, when elected president in March vowed to enlarge NAE's borders to ensure the organization's survival (CT, April 5, 1999, p. 26), maintains that a move is essential for growth.

"The motivation is to call the church to a new globalization mission that is culturally relevant, urban, and multiethnic," Mannoia told CT. "This is not a relocation out of economic or personal convenience."

The NAE had only six employees at its 24,000-square-foot facility in Carol Stream, which has been the headquarters since 1979. The building's appraised value is $1.4 million. All new staff will be hired in Azusa, with the NAE leasing facilities for the time being.

However, NAE's subsidiary, World Relief (WR), has 52 employees in the Carol Stream building, which serves as that organization's international headquarters. No change in the relationship is in the offing, but NAE's plans mean WR likely will have to find another facility. WR has a $23 million annual budget, 309 employees, and 25 U.S. resettlement offices.

Likewise, NAE plans to maintain its five-person office in Washington, D.C. With the California move, Mannoia says the NAE will have a "bicoastal national image." Mannoia plans to hire two vice presidents. David L. Melvin, NAE director of operations, left in July.

The move for NAE also means that tenant World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF), which has had its North American headquarters in the building since 1983, will need to re think its location. WEF has five employees at the site.

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