The EPA Board of Directors voted to extend three honorary memberships during their Spring 2016 board meeting.
The new members are Jerry Jenkins, Tom Minnery and David Neff.
Honorary membership, also known as Member Emeritus, is accorded to select individuals who are retired or have reached the age of 70 and who have provided distinguished service to EPA and to the industry. The board made an exception for Jenkins, who is neither age 70 or retired, in light of his commitment to the scholarship fund.
Jerry Jenkins’ history with EPA began at age 22 while writing and editing for several Christian magazines. He joined the staff of Moody Monthly in 1974 as the managing editor, eventually becoming Vice President for Publishing for Moody Bible Institute. He was also the founding editor of Today’s Christian Woman magazine.
Jenkins was active in EPA by being part of convention planning committees and serving on the board. He was President of the association in 1980 and 1981, and he has emceed multiple EPA conventions.
Jenkins, the writer of the New York Times best-selling “Left Behind” series, is now enjoying a prolific career as an author, having written 189 books, including 21 New York Times bestsellers (seven debuting at #1), with more than 70 million copies sold.
Last year Jenkins signed a five-year commitment to EPA to fund an annual $2,000 Jerry Jenkins Scholarship to a deserving journalism student. The first award, presented in April during the EPA convention, went to Felecita Datus, a student at Andrews University.
His latest book, “The Valley of Dry Bones” (Worthy Publishing), was released on May 31.
After a decade working as a journalist in the secular arena, including working as a correspondent and news manager for Gannett Newspapers Washington Bureau, Tom Minnery joined the staff of Christianity Today in 1980 where he served as news editor and senior editor. In 1987 Minnery was named Editorial Director for Focus on the Family periodicals and launched Citizen magazine for Focus. He soon became the Vice President of Government and Public Policy. In 2013 he was named President and CEO of CitizenLink, a public policy partner of Focus on the Family.
Today Minnery is President Emeritus and Director of Statesmen Academy for CitizenLink, which is being rebranded as the Family Policy Alliance.
David Neff got his start in journalism when he joined the staff of InterVarsity Press as assistant editor of HIS magazine working his way up to editor. In 1985 he was invited to join the staff of Christianity Today. Over a span of 28 years, Neff held the titles of associate editor, senior associate editor, managing editor, executive editor, editor, and finally editor-in-chief of CT magazine.
In addition to serving as President of EPA from 1997 to 1999, Neff chaired the Ethics Committee in crafting the current ethics code for EPA.
“I have many good memories with EPA,” recounted Neff, “including being roundly criticized by Francis Schaeffer in a plenary address and then winning a magazine of the year award for HIS.”
Neff also recalled getting up close and personal with Michael Medved when he needed a place to freshen up before speaking at an EPA convention. “I took him to my room to shave—with an electric razor,” said Neff, “which is all he can use as an Orthodox Jew.”
Upon retirement, Neff moved to the Baltimore area where he is working part time as the music director of a joint Episcopal-Lutheran congregation. He continues to write occasionally for Christian History and Books & Culture.
Posted June 1, 2016