Wednesday, June 16, 2004

the official rev todd hunter press release

with links added by emergesque

Contact: John B. Donovan

Alpha USA Names Todd Hunter National Director
Former Vineyard Head to Direct Expanded Strategy of Access to Pastors

Alpha USA, which provides an introductory course in Christianity used in 7,000 churches nationwide, has named Todd Hunter national director, to join forces with Dr. Alistair Hanna, who moves to chairman. Rev. Hunter, who will help expand Alpha’s church, prison, and college ministries, had first gained international attention as the successor to Vineyard founder John Wimber.

Dr. Alistair Hanna who moves to the position of chairman, said, Todd has the contacts, respect, and knowledge of the national church scene that will help propel us forward. The number of churches using Alpha has jumped 160% in three years, and our prayer is to go from 7,000 to 20,000 churches within a comparable period.

Rev. Hunter enters the Alpha picture as its strategy unfolds of establishing offices throughout America. Alpha, by drawing on his national church-planting experience, anticipates an era of helping church leaders to enhance their effectiveness. His most important role will be in mobilizing Alpha’s local offices for maximum impact.

He left the presidency of Vineyard USA in 2001 to join Allelon Ministries International as a director, helping it become a comprehensive resource for emerging church leaders.

Accepting this appointment, Rev. Hunter said, To my knowledge, Alpha is the most holistic approach to evangelization available to the local churches. While exploring sin, the cross, and resurrection, it also introduces seekers to life in the Kingdom and the Spirit -- in a way that leads naturally to discipleship to Jesus and love for neighbor. The Alpha course, being communal, relational, and full of dialog, is a great tool for reaching postmodern and post-Christian people.

Started in London, Alpha has spread rapidly into 148 countries and 45 languages. Its open-discussion-and-good-fellowship format during a 10-week course has been experienced in denominations ranging from mainline Protestant to Roman Catholic to evangelical.

Theologian Dallas Willard, commented, Todd Hunter is a uniquely qualified frontline leader for the kingdom of Christ in the world we now live in and must live in tomorrow. He has the solid substance of mainline creedal Christianity and the character and power of one who moves in the Holy Spirit.

Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, said, I’ve known Todd Hunter for over a decade. I can only imagine how many seekers will wind up in the kingdom under his leadership of Alpha.

Author Richard Foster, founder of Renovare, said, I am thrilled at the appointment of Mr. Todd Hunter as the national director of Alpha USA. Todd’s deep Christian commitment, vast experience among the emerging churches, and visionary application of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to post-modern culture will serve him well in this new post. Alpha’s highly successful missional work will be extended all the more under his able leadership.

Author Brian McLaren, founder of Emergent Village, commented: Todd Hunter is one of the finest Christian leaders I’ve met – sincere in faith, sensitive to the changing culture, honest, approachable, intellectually vigorous, and sensitive as a human being. His appointment is good news for the church at large in the U.S. and for our changing culture.

Author Leonard Sweet, Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, said, This is great news for the church. He’s one of the most creative leaders in the church today and one that can build on Alpha’s success and take it to higher and deeper dimensions of service. He’s a next-level thinker.

Alpha USA is a New York-based organization that provides an introduction to Christianity through 7,000 U.S. churches of almost all denominations. It is the U.S. affiliate of Alpha International, which operates in 148 countries in 45 languages, including courses in prisons, colleges, and schools. Over 1.5 million have taken the course in the U.S. and six million worldwide.

thanks to the bristol vineyard blog for the text

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