Dr. D. James Kennedy remains one of the most listened-to Christian ministers in America. His forthright and rational presentation of the Gospel is heard via television, radio, and the Internet throughout America and the world.
Dr. Kennedy, who entered the presence of his Savior, Jesus Christ, on September 5, 2007, began his Christian life in 1953 after he was startled awake one Sunday morning by a preacher's stern question coming out of his clock radio. "Suppose you were to die today and stand before God," the voice boomed, "and He were to ask you, 'What right do you have to enter into My heaven?' — what would you say?" Dr. Kennedy soon discovered the answer, was converted to Christ, and shortly thereafter was called into the Gospel ministry. Today, Dr. Kennedy's broadcast messages are televised to a nationwide audience.
Dr. Kennedy served for 47 years as Senior Minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A modest mission church of 45 people when Dr. Kennedy arrived in 1959, the rocketing growth of the church made it, for 15 years, the fastest growing Presbyterian church in America. Decision magazine named the church one of the "Five Great Churches of North America." In 2005, Dr. Kennedy was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Dr. Kennedy's energetic commitment to both evangelism and cultural renewal is demonstrated by four organizations he founded: D. James Kennedy Ministries (formerly Coral Ridge Ministries), Evangelism Explosion International, Knox Theological Seminary, and Westminster Academy.
D. James Kennedy Ministries — The media outreach of Dr. Kennedy, D. James Kennedy Ministries began in 1974 as Coral Ridge Ministries with the mission of bringing the Gospel to America and the world. Its media outreach includes the weekly television programs Kennedy Classics with Dr. D. James Kennedy and Truths That Transform; Truth In Action, a weekly half-hour radio program; with Dr. Michael Milton; the website www.DJamesKennedy.org; the monthly Impact Magazine and Devotional, and other print and video resources produced by D. James Kennedy Ministries.
Evangelism Explosion International — A lay-witnessing training program first developed in 1962 by Dr. Kennedy, Evangelism Explosion ("EE") is now used in every nation and territory. EE has been used by God to spark explosive growth in congregations around the world.
Knox Theological Seminary — Dr. Kennedy launched Knox Theological Seminary in 1989 to prepare and equip Christians for ministry with education grounded in the historic Reformed faith and shaped by commitments to the sovereignty of God, the inerrancy of the Bible, and obedience to the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate.
Westminster Academy — Dr. Kennedy founded Westminster Academy in 1971 to help meet Fort Lauderdale's need for quality Christian education. It is a fully-accredited nationally-recognized Pre-K to 12th grade academy with approximately 1,000 students.
Dr. Kennedy earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tampa, a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary (cum laude), a Master of Theology from Chicago Graduate School of Theology (summa cum laude), and a Ph.D. from New York University. He is the author of more than 65 books, including Evangelism Explosion (more than 1.5 million copies), What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?, The Da Vinci Myth versus The Gospel Truth, and Cross Purposes: Discovering the Great Love of God for You.
Born in Augusta, Georgia, Dr. Kennedy was raised in Chicago and moved to Florida while in high school. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mrs. Anne Kennedy, and his daughter, Mrs. Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy.
For many years, Dr. Frank Wright was a protégée of Dr. D. James Kennedy. When the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship was established in Washington, D.C., Frank was Dr. Kennedy’s choice to head it up. When we gathered with friends and partners to cast a vision for the next 40 years of ministry in 2014, Frank graciously served as our keynote speaker.
And now Dr. Wright has come home to D. James Kennedy Ministries.
After establishing the Center for Christian Statesmanship as a vital force for evangelism and the biblical worldview on Capitol Hill, serving for over a decade as the President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, and acting as the President and COO of Salem Communications Corporation, Frank Wright joined D. James Kennedy Ministries as our President and CEO on April 15, 2015.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt, God has led Dr. Wright and our ministry to this partnership ‘for such a time as this’”, says Jim Carlson, Chairman of the Board, who has been part of the ministry since the very beginning alongside Dr. Kennedy over 40 years ago. “Along with Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and the entire Board of Directors, I look forward to what we will accomplish together for the Kingdom of God under Frank’s leadership, bold vision, and proven experience.“
Dr. Wright holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Florida Atlantic University and is an ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Throughout the years, he has been very vocal about Dr. Kennedy’s direct impact on him and his ministry, and their shared vision and worldview makes Dr. Wright the ideal person to continue D. James Kennedy Ministries’ push toward the future.
As Jim Carlson has put it, “Beyond Dr. Wright’s professional expertise, he is a decade’s long friend and student of the late Dr. Kennedy and he shares an incredible understanding of Dr. Kennedy’s Biblical perspective, his commitment to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and this ministry’s Cultural Mandate.”
Dr. Wright has said, “[Dr. Kennedy’s] moral leadership and his legacy of impacting the globe for Jesus Christ is matched by few in the history of the Church. It is our desire to honor him by sustaining and multiplying his impact.”