Blake Joins Faith-Based Council

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Adrienne S. Gaines


April 6, 2009 — The leader of the nation’s largest Pentecostal denomination has been named to the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, leader of the 6 million-member Church of God in Christ, was appointed to a one-year term on Monday, becoming the first Pentecostal denominational leader named to the 25-member panel.

Other council members include megachurch pastor Joel C. Hunter, founder of Northland, a Church Distributed in Orlando, Fla.; the Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., pastor emeritus of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio; Dr. Frank S. Page, president emeritus of the Southern Baptist Convention; and the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners.

Council members include religious and secular leaders and scholars from diverse backgrounds, who help make recommendations on the delivery of social services. Led by one-time Pentecostal minister Joshua DuBois, the council was established in February as part of President Obama’s revamping of President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives.

Although President Obama had asked Tony Dungy to be part of the council, he was not included in the list of members released today. The council is to meet for the first time this week, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The full White House release, with the complete list of council members, is below.



President Obama Announces Additional Members of Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships


Washington – President Barack Obama today announced additional members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  The Advisory Council is part of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and is composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds.


Each member of the Council is appointed to a one-year term.  The members of the Council are:


Diane Baillargeon, President & CEO, Seedco
New York , NY

*Anju Bhargava, Founder, Asian Indian Women of America, New Jersey

*Bishop Charles Blake, Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles, CA

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association,

Chicago, IL

*The Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President-Elect, National Council of Churches USA, Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Arturo Chavez, President & CEO, Mexican American Catholic College
San Antonio , TX

Fred Davie, Senior Adviser, Public/Private Ventures
New York , NY

*Nathan Diament, Director of Public Policy, Orthodox Jewish Union, Washington, DC

Pastor Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, a Church Distributed
Longwood, FL

*Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC

Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, Presiding Bishop, 13th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church
Knoxville, TN

*Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, Washington, DC

Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
Cleveland, OH

Dr. Frank S. Page, President emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention
Taylors, SC

Eboo S. Patel, Founder & Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core
Chicago, IL

*Anthony Picarello, General Counsel , United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC

*Nancy Ratzan, Board Chair, National Council of Jewish Women, Miami, FL

Melissa Rogers, Director, Wake Forest School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs, Winston-Salem , NC

Rabbi David N. Saperstein, Director & Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Washington , DC

Dr. William J. Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA
Philadelphia , PA

Father Larry J. Snyder, President, Catholic Charities USA
Alexandria , VA

Richard Stearns, President, World Vision
Bellevue , WA

Judith N. Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America
Philadelphia , PA

Rev. Jim Wallis, President & Executive Director, Sojourners
Washington , DC

*Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)

Indianapolis, IN


NOTE: Members marked with an asterisk were announced today. The White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will be a resource for nonprofits and community organizations, both secular and faith based, looking for ways to make a bigger impact in their communities, learn their obligations under the law, cut through red tape, and make the most of what the federal government has to offer.  Other members of the Advisory Council were announced earlier this year.



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