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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