The Evangelical Press Association board of directors has agreed to add EPA’s name as a cooperating organization for the 2020 Religion Communication Congress.
Since 1970, the Religion Communication Congress has been a once-a-decade gathering of professional religion communicators from a wide range of faith traditions. The Congress was established “to provide a forum to expand the experience and broaden the perspective of professional communicators in faith-based settings beyond their specialized work area.”
The conference will take place March 17-21, 2020, in Washington, D.C. This is believed to be the first time that EPA has signed on as a cooperating group.
The list of cooperating organizations spans the interfaith religious world. While EPA’s participation is not an endorsement of other religious faiths that are part of the Congress, it is an effort to join the conversation with cooperative, constructive and positive interaction.
The EPA board desires EPA to be more intentional about “having a seat at the table” with those outside the evangelical community.
For more information on RCCongress 2020, visit rccongress2020.org.
Established in 2015, the Legacy Council is made up of select past presidents with members serving three-year terms in an advisory and mentoring role to the board and staff.
Diane J. McDougall has lived and breathed magazines since 1985 and believes that the best articles are the result of a trusting partnership between creator and editor. Her work has ranged from EPA pubs (EFCA Today, Worldwide Challenge, World Vision and World Relief) to projects for various higher-ed publications and the International Justice Mission. Not to mention airline magazines (Ethiopian Airline’s Selamta).
Diane has served on EPA’s board as secretary from 1994 to 1997 and president from 2009 to 2011. She has participated as a mentor in the Person-to-Person program and as a frequent presenter at EPA conventions, which she has attended since 1990.
After more than 20 years as editorial director at the creative agency Journey Group, she’s now serving as senior editor for Virginia Magazine (the University of Virginia’s alumni magazine).
Dean Merrill was EPA’s president from 1985 to 1987. Throughout the years, he served variously as a convention chairman, seminar presenter, awards contest judge, and board member.
His first participation in EPA began in the late 1960s at Campus Life magazine, then onward to David C. Cook Publishing Co., Leadership Journal (CTi), Christian Herald, and the Focus on the Family magazine group, winning a number of awards along the way.
He is the published author of 10 solo books plus another 35 collaborations, including one ECPA Christian Book of the Year and two Gold Medallion winners. Now an independent writer, he works from his home in Colorado Springs.
Appointed to his second term on the council, Roger Palms was the editor of Decision magazine from 1976 to 1998 and president of EPA from 1991 to 1993. He served in other board roles prior to that. He currently serves as a contest judge.
In 2004 he received the Joseph Bayly Lifetime Achievement Award from EPA for his distinguished service to EPA and the field of journalism.
Though retired and living in Florida, Roger continues to write and to teach writers around the world, most recently in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He is the author of 16 books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles.
Dean Ridings’ impact in EPA has been felt for a long time, beginning when he was a scholarship recipient in 1986 as a student at Wheaton Graduate School.
Dean has served EPA in many roles, including multiple convention planning committees, Convention Committee chair, Scholarship Committee, Awards Committee, contest judge, and multiple stints on the board. He was president of EPA from 2011 to 2013.
Over the years he has been on staff with Jubilee (Prison Fellowship), Journal of Christian Camping (Christian Camp & Conference Association), One-to-One (The Navigators), and Thriving Family (Focus on the Family). He is the author of hundreds of articles for a variety of EPA publications.
He is the author of The Pray! Prayer Journal and co-author of the three-book Mighty Men of Valor series of Bible studies. Dean currently serves with The Navigators as communication director at Navigators Headquarters in Colorado Springs.
EPA has added another benefit partner with the recent offer by the National Association of Evangelicals to extend NAE membership to EPA and, with it, free access to NAE’s quarterly webinarsfor all EPA members. While the NAE’s magazine, Evangelicals, has already been a publication member of EPA, the NAE as an organization is now an affiliate member of EPA. Sarah Kropp Brown, the NAE’s director of communications and editor of Evangelicals, is a current member of the EPA board of directors.
The NAE played a significant role in the founding of EPA. In the fall of 1947, James DeForest Murch, editor of the NAE magazine United Evangelical Action met with a handful of editors at the National Sunday School Association convention to discuss the possibility of an association of evangelical editors. On May 6, 1948, 35 editors met at Congress Hotel in Chicago to organize the Evangelical Press Association, to adopt a doctrinal statement (crafted by NAE), and to create a statement of purpose. Murch was named the first president of the new association.
“Considering our shared history and complementary missions, we would be pleased to enter into a greater relationship with the Evangelical Press Association,” said Heather Gonzales, vice president and chief operations officer for the NAE.
The NAE offers quarterly webinars on subjects such as technology, trends, management and communications. The registration cost will be waived when EPA members register for the webinars using a custom link that will be made available through official email notices sent out by EPA.
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