The board of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) on Wednesday May 1 voted to move its headquarters from California to Washington, D.C.

After relocating to Azusa, California from Carol Stream, Illinois in 1999, the NAE will consolidate all functions into its office in the nation's capital by July 1, NAE President Leith Anderson told Christianity Today.

"The advantage is that this is a very strong office and a very strong presence," Anderson told CT at the Second Summit of Christian Leaders on Religious Persecution in Washington. "The two pillars of NAE are the association of churches, denominations and individuals, and the other is our relationship as the evangelical voice to government, and this way we can do it together instead of seeing each other a few times a year and doing it by electronic communication."

The NAE has had a presence in Washington for more than 50 years, he added. "We are increasingly convinced that we can do a better job having everything here as it once was."

Humanitarian organization World Relief, a subsidiary of NAE, last year moved to Baltimore. Being closer to World Relief will bring the NAE "wonderful leveraging opportunities," Anderson said.

The board also elected William Hamel, president of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as chairman. In the past the board has discussed changes in the leadership structure of the NAE, but Anderson said it took no action on Wednesday.

"There is not an immediate change in the structure," Anderson said. "I continue to serve as the interim president and CEO, while also serving as the senior pastor at Wooddale Church, a suburban church in Minneapolis. That will continue at least until later this year."

He said the board is considering new bylaws as well ...

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