Beliefnet News

By Adelle M. Banks
The Rev. D. James Kennedy, who used his Florida-based
television ministry to establish himself as a leading voice for
religious conservatives, has retired from Coral Ridge Presbyterian
Church in Fort Lauderdale.
Kennedy, 76, suffered a cardiac arrest in late December and has not
returned to his pulpit of more than 48 years since falling ill.
“We thank the Lord for his faithfulness to my father over nearly
one-half century, through the impact this church has made in the lives
of people in this congregation and community and the influence he has
had on countless individuals around the world through radio and
television,” his daughter, Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy, said in a Sunday
(Aug. 26) announcement of her father’s retirement.
Kennedy started the congregation, which is affiliated with the
Presbyterian Church in America, in 1959. He became a well-known
Christian broadcaster through his presidency of Coral Ridge Ministries,
which broadcast his sermons.
“As Dr. Kennedy retires from the scene of active ministry, I praise
God for giving the church this man of vision so committed to the kingdom
of God,” said Frank Wright, president of National Religious
Broadcasters. “With his godly wisdom, his courageous heart and his
consistent example, he has inspired millions to love, follow and serve
Jesus Christ.”
Leaders of Coral Ridge Ministries have begun plans to broaden its
audience of 3 million to 30 million by 2012, by using Kennedy’s
teachings on television, radio, the Internet and in print.
But other ministries founded by the ailing broadcaster have closed
or gained new ownership.
Coral Ridge Ministries closed the Center for Reclaiming America,
which fostered grass-roots action among conservative Christians, in
April. The Center for Christian Statesmanship, a Washington-based
ministry to Capitol Hill employees, closed at the same time, but
reopened two weeks later under the auspices of Kennedy’s Evangelism
Explosion International.
Copyright 2007 Religion News Service