tampabay.com

Center propagating antigay, antiabortion message closes

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 29, 2007


FORT LAUDERDALE - The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, founded more than a decade ago to propagate a largely antiabortion, antigay message, has closed its doors.

The offshoot of Coral Ridge Ministries laid off an undisclosed number of workers Thursday at its headquarters here and at an office in Washington in what was called simply a "streamlining."

"We're getting back to our core competency, the production of media, " said Brian Fisher, executive vice president at Coral Ridge, which was founded by the Rev. D. James Kennedy.

Kennedy has been absent from public view since suffering a heart attack in December. He founded the Center for Reclaiming America in 1996. It has launched e-mail and petition drives for its causes and hosts an annual conference that attracted conservatives such as Ann Coulter.

Fisher wouldn't say how many people were laid off but said Coral Ridge Ministries, which produces TV and radio programs and publishes books, still has more than 120 employees. A spokesman said Coral Ridge had a budget of $37-million in 2005.