Two years ago, the venerable National Association of Evangelicals was facing big problems. It now has a solid balance sheet and a new president with ambitious plans.

Former president Kevin Mannoia, a bishop in the Free Methodist Church, resigned in July 2001 after only two years in office. The nae, a fellowship of 51 denominations founded in 1942, suffered heavy financial losses during Mannoia's brief tenure.

It not only undertook a costly move of its headquarters from Carol Stream, Illinois, to Azusa, California; it also instituted controversial changes, like allowing organizations to hold dual memberships with the National Council of Churches (NCC), the mainline ecumenical body with a liberal reputation. In addition, the influential National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) broke ties with the nae in 2001.

Leith Anderson, pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, stepped in as interim president. He consolidated the organization's offices in Washington, D.C., last year. The organization navigated through "certainly rough waters," Anderson told Christianity Today. "There was uncertainty with no president, little money, and some people were concerned about the credibility of the organization."

Anderson made a series of cost-saving measures, said R. Timothy Murphy, NAE's chief financial officer. Anderson reduced the number of full-time staff from nine to three. In 2001 the group's annual convention, held at the Doubletree in Dallas, lost $100,000. This year it came out ahead by $30,000 in Eden Prairie.

Murphy said the nae balance sheet is in the black by $137,811 in the six-month period ending in March. The organization reports $412,324 in revenues and $274,513 in expenses.

The NAE appointed Ted Haggard as president and CEO on March 7. Haggard, 46, told CT he plans to revitalize the group (see "Time for assertive evangelicalism").

Despite a change in the group's bylaws, Haggard said NAE has no plans to admit NCC member denominations. Haggard also said he hopes to mend fences with the NRB, which left nae partly because of the ncc flap.

"I have many friends with the NRB," Haggard said, citing his friendship with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, "and I'm confident they are open to this happening."

Related Elsewhere

Also appearing on our site today:

Ted Haggard: 'This Is Evangelicalism's Finest Hour' | The new president of the National Association of Evangelicals talks about the current state and future goals of the association and evangelicalism.

Earlier Christianity Today articles about the NAE include:

NAE Plans Move to Washington, D.C. | "We are increasingly convinced that we can do a better job having everything here as it once was." (May 3, 2002)
NAE President Resigns in Wake of Financial Woes | "In the process of change, you also create friction," says Kevin Mannoia. (June 15, 2001)
What Are We For?  | The president of the NAE argues that a new day has arrived for the movement. (May, 21, 2001)
Breaking Up Isn't Hard to Do | Religious broadcasters quietly cut historic link to National Association of Evangelicals. (Mar. 21, 2001)
Weblog: Why Did the National Religious Broadcasters Split from the National Association of Evangelicals? (Feb. 15, 2001)
Time to Kiss and Make Up? | The financially strapped NCC reaches out to evangelicals and Roman Catholics. (July 18, 2000)
Power in Unity | President of NAE embraces new strategy. (March 28, 2000)
NAE Mulls Move to Azusa (September 6, 1999)
NAE Selects New President (April 5, 1999)
NAE Rethinks Mission  (April 27, 1998)

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