National Council of Churches Announces New General Secretary Nominee on Heels of Major Staff Cuts, Financial Shortfall
"It is ironic that a clergyman who was judged as too far outside of the mainstream to lead his own admittedly liberal denomination would now find himself nominated to lead a much broader group of churches, many of whom are significantly more conservative than the Disciples of Christ." --Rev. Jim Tonkowich, IRD President
Contact: Loralei Coyle, 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, email@example.com; both with the Institute on Religion and Democracy
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- The National Council of Churches has announced the nomination of The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon to serve as the new General Secretary of the NCC. The nomination of Kinnamon, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) clergyman, follows the announcement of the cuts of 14 staff positions in order to address a million dollar budget shortfall according to a reorganization plan announced on September 27th. The ecumenical body, which comprises 35 member denominations, has had a tenuous financial history but was generally thought to have stabilized due to increased funding from secular foundations.
Dr. Kinnamon is already well-known in his own denomination after his 1991 candidacy for the head of the Disciples of Christ met with strong opposition from church members who said his views denied the authority of the Bible. Kinnamon's nomination was eventually defeated at the denomination's General Assembly.
According to Clare Chapman, the Council's Acting General Secretary, the budget shortfall stemmed from lower-than-expected income from two of three main revenue streams for the NCC -- denominational contributions, foundation grants and royalties. Among the positions being eliminated, two are deputy general secretaries and six are associate general secretaries. Prior to the cuts the NCC employed about 40 full-time staff.
IRD President Jim Tonkowich commented,
"It is ironic that a clergyman who was judged as too far outside of the mainstream to lead his own admittedly liberal denomination would now find himself nominated to lead a much broader group of churches, many of whom are significantly more conservative than the Disciples of Christ.
"(Recently Departed NCC General Secretary) Rev. Bob Edgar had boasted of significant increases in foundational support, as well as increased efforts to convince the NCC's ever-reluctant member communions to shoulder a larger share of the council's budget. Clearly, this support never materialized in an amount that could sustain the NCC's current level of operations.
"Neither of these developments bode well for the NCC's ability to increase support from its member communions."