Kennedy, D. James 1930–2007

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Kennedy, D. James 1930–2007

(Dennis James Kennedy)


See index for CA sketch: Born November 3, 1930, in Augusta, GA; died September 5, 2007, in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Minister, broadcaster, executive, and author. Kennedy combined conservative Christianity with political activism along a path that took him all the way to Capitol Hill. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1959, eventually aligning himself with the very conservative branch, the Presbyterian Church in America. From his pulpit he preached family values, railing against anything that he perceived as a threat to the traditional family. Kennedy joined the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and ministered to that congregation for the rest of his life, reportedly building it from less than fifty members to 10,000. When he added a syndicated television broadcast,The Coral Ridge Hour, his extended congregation grew to more than three million. He also founded the Evangelism Explosion lay ministry. Kennedy combined his religious ministry with ultraconservative politics as early as 1979 when he joined television evangelist Jerry Falwell and others as a founding board member of the Moral Majority movement. Unlike some of his more colorful colleagues, however, he maintained a modest public persona and carried out much of his work behind the scenes. Kennedy founded the Center for Christian Statesmanship as a Bible study center for government officials and politicians, and reportedly consulted with then-presidential hopeful George W. Bush in 2000. Though he claimed no interest in party affiliations, many (some say most) of his political contacts supported Republican agendas. He founded the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ to teach others how to participate in the political process, and he was a supporter of the Christian-based Alliance Defense Fund, created to counter the impact of the more secular civil liberties organizations. Kennedy wrote more than sixty books in his lifetime. These include Evangelism Explosion(1970),Character and Destiny: A Nation in Search of Its Soul(1994),Solving Bible Mysteries: Unraveling the Perplexing and Troubling Passages of Scripture(2000),The Da Vinci Myth versus the Gospel Truth(2006), and How Would Jesus Vote? A Christian Perspective on the Issues(2008). Later titles were written with coauthor Jerry Newcombe.



Chicago Tribune, September 7, 2007, sec. 3, p. 7.

Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2007, p. B9.

New York Times, September 6, 2007, p. C16.

Times(London, England), September 18, 2007, p. 67.

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Kennedy, D. James 1930–2007

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