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Edgar departs for Common Cause; Chapman named interim

New York City, August 20, 2007 – The Rev. Bob Edgar, general secretary at the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) since January 2000, departs at month’s end for Common Cause.   He will then assume fulltime responsibilities as the nonpartisan advocacy group’s president. 

Anticipating Edgar’s departure the NCC’s executive committee has appointed Clare J. Chapman, NCC’s deputy general secretary for finance and administration, to be Acting General Secretary. 

“We are blessed to have the administrative gifts and talents in Clare Chapman to manage the day-to-day leadership of the NCC,” said the Rev. Michael Livingston, president of the NCC.  “Clare will carry us through to the end of the year when we expect to have our next General Secretary in place.” 

A search committee has been considering candidates for the General Secretary position for several weeks. 

“The NCC and its member communions continue to be in ministry together, striving for the unity to which Christ calls us,” said Chapman.  “The Council has strong leadership in its Governing Board and Executive Committee and I look forward to working with them in a new way in this leadership transition.  While we all acknowledge the improvement in financial stability that has occurred in Bob’s tenure, his strong leadership in advocating for peace, working for environmental justice and helping those living with poverty is his real legacy,” Chapman said. 

Edgar’s nearly eight years of leadership at the NCC saw numerous events that called upon the churches to speak out and witness to the gospel.  A photo retrospective produced and written by Philip Jenks, NCC’s director of interpretation, is available online 

Edgar is returning to Washington, D.C. to head up Common Cause, a grassroots, non-partisan advocacy group with 36 state organizations and nearly 300,000 members.  Edgar lived in the Washington area for 12 years while he served as a Member of Congress from Pennsylvania, 1975-1987. 

NCC News contact:  Dan Webster, 212.870.2252,


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