Magazine article The Christian Century

Moderate Will Lead Christian Coalition

Magazine article The Christian Century

Moderate Will Lead Christian Coalition

Article excerpt

An organization once synonymous with the religious right has named as its new president a pastor who is becoming known as a critic of conservative Christians wedded to Republican politics.

The Christian Coalition last month named Joel Hunter, pastor of the Northland Church in the Orlando, Florida, area, as president. He replaces Roberta Combs, who headed the organization as it lately declined precipitously in influence, size and prestige.

Hunter will work on a part-time basis for the coalition and remain pastor at Northland, which is one church distributed among five concurrent worship sites. He reportedly will move the coalition's headquarters from Washington to the Orlando area. Combs will the title of chairman of the group.

In the 1990s, the Christian Coalition claimed millions of members and distributed hundreds of thousands of voter guides in churches prior to elections. But the group's annual budget has declined from $26 million at its peak to around $1 million. Recently four state Christian Coalition chapters parted ways with the organization.

Hunter's selection may further disturb the remnant. He has self-published a book titled Right Wing, Wrong Bird: Why the Tactics of the Religious Right Won't Fly with Most Conservative Christians. …

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