Leith Anderson Retiring from National Association of Evangelicals

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NAE president: “It’s important to speak biblically and thoughtfully when so many are shouting for attention.”

As National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) president Leith Anderson announces his retirement after 13 years at the helm of the organization, the outgoing leader cautioned against politics taking over perceptions of the movement.

“Bringing together evangelicals based on our shared faith in the Bible and Jesus Christ is my greatest joy at NAE,” said Anderson, who will step down from the NAE, which represents 40,000 churches and millions of believers, at the end of 2019. “Some try to define evangelicals by politics. That is a big mistake. We are defined by our faith.”

In recent years, the NAE president spoke up in new debates that arose during President Donald Trump’s campaign over the use of the label evangelical that has defined the organization throughout its history.

“Recognizing the divisive polarization in current culture, NAE has focused on the design of our founders 75 years ago,” he told CT. “We were started to be a biblical voice between those on extremes. It’s important to speak biblically and thoughtfully when so many are shouting for attention.”

During his tenure, Anderson led efforts to engage American evangelicals around poverty relief, prison reform, and immigration, among other issues, bringing together leaders from 40 denominations and top evangelical institutions across the board around their shared convictions.

“It isn’t easy to lead evangelicals, and it is impossible over the long haul unless that leader is a servant leader,” said Johnnie Moore, founder of the Kairos Company and a member of the NAE’s board of directors.

“I’ve watched for more than a decade how Leith Anderson has served every end of evangelicalism …

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