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Dr. James Dobson leaving Focus on the Family radio show, ministry

Focus on the Family announced last week that Dr. James Dobson is leaving the radio show as its primary host as well the ministry he founded in 1977.
In a press release, Jim Daly, the ministry’s president and CEO, explains that “Dr. Dobson’s departure from the radio program and from official affiliation with the organization he founded in 1977 is just the ‘third chapter in a transition that began in 2003,’ when Dr. Dobson stepped down as Focus president.”
While Dr. Dobson didn’t release an official statement, FOF spokesman Gary Schneeberger has said that Dr. Dobson’s Dobson’s “health and attitude are great;” Dobson suffered a minor heart attack in 1990 and a mild stroke in 1998.
Dr. Dobson will continue to record new radio broadcasts between now and the end of February.
UPDATE November 4: I took some time today to listen to the message that Dr. Dobson recorded addressing his resignation. He explains that, indeed, the board did ask for his resignation at a meeting last week, but was emphatic on several points.


First, he and his wife Shirley had already felt God calling them to the same decision, so the board’s request was not necessarily a bad thing. Dr. Dobson speculates that the board’s decision was likely to help put closure on the first two phases of his transition. In 2003, Dr. Dobson stepped down as President of Focus on the Family. In February of 2009 he resigned as Chairman of the Board.
Second, Dr. Dobson wants listeners to know that there was “not one word of criticism or conflict” spoken during the meeting, and the entire process was conducted with love. After 32 years of service with the ministry he founded, he feels that his season with FOF is over.
Third, Dr. Dobson emphasized that the FOF has been going through the expected changes that come with a new administration. “You can’t have a new set of leaders and still come to the same conclusions,” he said in the broadcast. He explained that FOF President and CEO Jim Daly has every right to restructure FOF in the way he thinks will best serve the ministry, and Dr. Dobson didn’t want to impede that change by sticking around. He said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders.
Dr. Dobson explains that his resignation, while prompted by the Board’s request last week, would have happened anyway, and that he feels this completes the transition that began in 2003.
All of that to say that there isn’t anything nefarious going on. Dr. Dobson is not ill; in fact, just before the meeting he got a call from his cardiologist who told him his heart and health are in remarkable shape. He hasn’t committed some horrible transgression that the board discoverd. He and the board are not at odds, and Focus on the Family will go on.
You can listen to the message yourself, at the Focus on the Family Media Center.
For more about Focus on the Family and to find out when the radio show airs in your market, visit the ministry’s website.
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posted November 3, 2009 at 1:13 am

The ministry that Dr. James Dobson founded in 1977 began the same year as my marriage. I have listened to his program, read his books, and used the ministries resources as I’ve raised my children. He has been a beloved and familiar voice of stability and consistency over the past three decades supporting and fighting for our families. I cannot say how very very deeply I am going to miss hearing that beloved voice championing for the values that we believe in as Christians. I don’t know what God has planned at this transitional place for Dr. Dobson, but I believe that God is going to be doing something with him in this desperate season of our nation that will require the wisdom, dedication, and fearlessness that have been a constant in he and his wife’s lives. I could not understand the rational behind his leaving at this time when the announcement was played over the radio, but I believe that it is for such a time as this…. God know the plans he has.

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posted November 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm


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loretta smith

posted November 3, 2009 at 5:42 pm

why was dr. dobson asked to step down?

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Joanne Brokaw

posted November 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Loretta, he wasn’t asked to step down. He had planned to leave the ministry, and as stated this was part of the transition plan. He stepped down as the president a year or so ago. Nothing nefarious, just a change.
host of the Gospel Soundcheck blog

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K. Nassem

posted November 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Dr. Dobson himself stated on his radio program that he was asked by the board to step down. It was also on the Focus on the Family website in written form until they quickly took it down. Listen to Monday’s (November 2nd) broadcast yourself. You will hear him say that and that he can only guess at the reason.

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Joanne Brokaw

posted November 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Thanks, K! I posted an update.
I appreciate the info! I missed that recorded message.
host of the Gospel Soundcheck

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Daniel Edd Bland III

posted November 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm

I was raised on Dr. Dobson, and have just sent him seeking his help to help me stop loosing faith in the Christian Church. My Mom respects Dr. Dobson as much or more than any other Christian leader, and she is interested to see his response. I only started learning the truth about the 9/11 attacks last fall. It took me an entire year to get my parents to listen to me, and begin reviewing the evidence for themselves. Now that they have thoroughly and objectively taken a fresh look into all the evidence, they too are now aware of how badly we have been deceived. They now fully support my mission to find out what really happened to 2,993 of our fellow citizens that fateful September morning. My mom is very interested to see how/if Dr. Dobson will respond. Please read my open letter to Dr. Dobson and share your thoughts at………
Does Christ’s Church really stand for TRUTH & JUSTICE? That is the question!
Daniel Edd Bland III

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Your Name

posted February 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm

well done Dr Dobson GOD BLESS YOU it is so wanderfull to serve GOD in once life time, there is nothing better than this also serving the peopel of God your minestry was the foundation of the generation family is the source the next genretion so you were supporting all the messed the broken heartd families by telling the word of God yousave many families from disteraction you gloryfay GOD in your service i was listening the bott radio this morning so the peopels comments makes me cry how great is our God i the bibel said in HEB-6–10 GOD IS NOT UNFAIR. HE WILL NOT FORGET THE WORK YOU DID OR THE LOVE YOU SHOWED FOR HIM IN THE HELP YOU GAVE AND ARE STILL GIVING TO YOUR FELLOW CHRISTIANS.SO he will never forget you you are in the hande of God he will never leave you alon you done well your race and you have kept the faith .on that day you will the victory prize from jesus and we will met there.maranata.

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posted September 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I want to respond to Your name in Feb 24, 2010…are you drunk? James Dobson is nothing but a money hungry, non believer in God. He can’t even preach scripture. He is a man that can only judge others not himself. I am a Gay man. I know I will not go to HELL for laying with another man. Anyone else reading this will not either for their sins. I know I will not cast the first stone James Dobson.

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posted September 18, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Arnold – James Dobson did not take a salary as the leader of Focus on the Family all those years, and the fact that he initiated the succession plan that led to him stepping down as President/CEO, then eventually Board Chairman and host of the radio show demonstrates pretty clearly he was not in this for selfish gain. And I don’t believe he has ever said gay people will go to Hell for being gay. The only reason anyone goes to hell is for rejecting the Savior that God sent into the world to take the punishment for our sins. John 3:36 says “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” We are all sinners Arnold (see Romans 3:23 and 1John 1:10) and faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah is the only remedy for that sin that otherwise would separate all of us from God. Nobody, gay or straight, is any less needy in that regard. Hope you check it out in the Scriptures for yourself, and I am praying as I write this that God will draw you to Himself and give you “the peace that passes all understanding.”

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posted October 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Sorry for your anger at James Dobson and God. Many friends of mine that were gay came to know that they WERE born gay, but all are born with a temptation to sin. I was born a liar, muderer and thief, becasue I have been tempted to do them all. That does not make it right that one is tempted. And if we love Christ we turn from sin, as he told the prostitute that He saved from being stoned, “go and sin no more”.
I wish you well, and hope you understand that we all are born with unheathy challenges and sins.

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The Apostle Paul

posted February 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

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Rose E. Bowery

posted June 30, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I have always appreciated Dr. Dobson’s input into the mental health field since I was involved in that area of expertise for 17 years. I am glad we had, and still will have, a Christian’s point of view to help us when working in such a complex field. The Lord certainly had called Dr. Dobson to enter this field. May the Lord continue and bless him as he continues to serve the Lord for the rest of his years. We are never “finished” until the Lord calls us to be with Him.

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posted July 5, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I once listened to Dobson every single day. He lost all credibility when he joined the bandwagon of the Prayer of Jabez. That was witchcraft plain and simple and has nothing to do with Christianity.

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