After 33 years at Focus on the Family, James Dobson signs off today. This is the final stage of transition for the founder of the organization. Dobson had already stepped down as president of the organization in 2003 and as chairman of the board last year. Focus announced the decision for Dobson to step down last October. Today was his last day as host of the Focus on the Family program.
Speaking to the one million plus listeners, Dobson said, "I love you, and that will not change. And I'm going from here to another responsibility. And please continue to pray for us."
Many listeners returned the sentiment. Over the past two weeks, Focus collected over forty-thousand cards thanking Dobson for his years of service.
Dobson's final broadcast was a chance for him to say good-bye and to receive well-wishes from the Focus leadership. On Monday, Focus on the Family will air a special chapel service where Dobson will say farewell to the minstry's employees.
In addition to the many goodbyes, Friday's broadcast also discussed the details of Dobson's new ministry. Family Talk, like Focus on the Family, will be based in Colorado Springs and will feature a new radio show focusing on family issues and public policy. Dobson will share the hosting microphone with his son, Ryan, and Focus radio producer LuAnn Crane.
Both Dobson and Focus leaders emphasized that the ministry will not be competition with Focus on the Family and noted that Focus on the Family gave Family Talk one million dollars to get it off the ground.
"We will try to cover the bases in a little different way," said Dobson. "How silly to think that one organization is going to meet of the whole country. That's crazy. It's like, well you've got a church on one corner so you don't need another church. That–I don't like the way that sounds because there's plenty of work for all of us to do. And we're not going to be very far from here, and I hope we can work in partnership."
Dobson is also scheduled to release a book, Bringing Up Girls, in April.