Evangelical Group Chief Resigns Post


The Rev. Kevin W. Mannoia has resigned as president of the National Assn. of Evangelicals, saying that he had lost the confidence of the executive committee of the nation's largest evangelical organization after two years at the helm.

Mannoia said some of his organizational changes had introduced "stresses." They included moving the NAE headquarters from Wheaton, Ill., to Azusa, Calif., and allowing member churches to hold dual memberships in both the NAE and the more liberal National Council of Churches.

He also said ongoing financial problems, including an annual operating deficit of $350,000, had undermined his support by the executive committee.

"Without support at that level, I don't think it's wise to proceed," Mannoia said in a telephone interview. He said his resignation is effective July 7.

The association, formed nearly 60 years ago, has about 43,000 member congregations from 50 denominations, as well as additional independent churches. The total membership of these groups is 27 million, the NAE says.

Ed Foggs, chairman of the NAE, said Mannoia had led the organization "with courage and conviction through important changes," including reaching out to worshipers "beyond our traditional constituencies."

Mannoia, a bishop in the Free Methodist Church, said the evangelical association's annual $1-million budget was already running an operating deficit of $350,000 when he became president in mid-1999.

He said executive committee members' "concern was to fix the administration and finances while my focus was on continuing on strategic development." He had pushed for greater emphasis on urban ministry and reaching out to growing ethnic groups in the United States.

Both goals were factors in moving to California, as well as Mannoia's desire to have an influence on leaders of the entertainment industry.

"I cannot be effective in moving [the association] forward in the ways necessary to assimilate or coalesce the changes into the board and corporate mind of the NAE," he said.

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