HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> "Africa and the Middle East Advocacy Days"  -  Washington, DC  -  February 23-26, 2003
February 23-26, 2003
Africa and the Middle East
Advocacy Days

Washington, DC

Biographical Information

Preacher, Service of Worship (Feb. 24), Rev. John McCullough

Master of Ceremonies, Capitol Hill Reception (Feb. 25), Dr. Robert Edgar

The Rev. John McCullough

The Rev. John L. McCullough is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Church World Service, Inc.; and has served in this capacity since 2000.  Headquartered in New York City, Church World Service (CWS) is the oldest and largest ecumenical humanitarian organization in the world, working to end hunger and poverty globally. 

Working in partnership with regional and national Council of Churches, and indigenous organizations in more than eighty countries around the world, CWS responds to issues of natural disaster, refugees, displaced populations, sustainable development, community education, international justice and human rights.  As part of the General Assembly of the National Council of the Churches of Christ (NCCCUSA), CWS maintains a joint office on public policy and advocacy with the National Council of Churches, in Washington, D.C.

Rev. McCullough is an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church.  Along with degrees from Xavier University of Louisiana and Boston University, he has nearly three decades of experience in international development.  He has traveled extensively, and has, along with his wife, lived abroad while working amongst the Tharakan people, a remote and impoverished community in northeast Kenya from 1981-84.

Before his election as Executive Director, Rev. McCullough served as Associate General Secretary in charge of Mission Personnel for the United Methodist Church.  There he provided administrative oversight for a missionary program that expanded to more than two thousand missionaries under his leadership.  He also administered the prestigious Crusade Scholarship Program.  He sees his personal mission as Preparing leaders for church and society, Serving the needs of humanity, and Working for global justice.

He has been interviewed extensively by national and international media; and, has participated as panelist and keynote speaker at international gatherings and conferences.

He is married to JoAnn Smith, formerly of New Orleans, and they have three daughters, Erika, Monique, and Jasmine.  Their home is in Montclair, New Jersey.

Dr. Robert Edgar

Dr. Bob Edgar is general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the leading U.S. organization in the movement for Christian unity. Thirty-six Protestant, Anglican and
Orthodox member communions, to which approximately 50 million congregants belong, work together in the Council to promote unity and to serve churches and people worldwide.

Dr. Edgar took office January 1, 2000, at a time of great opportunity, as the 50-year-old Council began to reshape its life and mission. Under his leadership, the Council is refocusing its energies on two major initiatives. One is a ten-year domestic Mobilization to Overcome Poverty. The other is an exploration of an expanded ecumenical vision for the new millennium, a conversation that includes Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, the Roman Catholic Church and the Council¹s member communions.

An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Edgar came to the Council from Claremont Theological School, Claremont, Calif., where he was president from 1990-2000. During that decade, he brought a school on the brink of collapse back to institutional health, confirming his reputation as an optimist, a futurist, and a coalition builder who enjoys meeting a challenge.

Dr. Edgar is well known for his service as a six-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was the first Democrat in more than 120 years to be elected from the heavily Republican Seventh District of Pennsylvania. His election and service demonstrated the bipartisan, ecumenical quality that has marked his whole life and ministry. Serving in Congress from 1975 to 1987, he led efforts to
improve public transportation, authored the community Right to Know provisions of Super Fund legislation, co-authored the new GI bill for the all-volunteer service, fought wasteful water projects and supported environmental goals. Among other appointments, he served as chair of the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future (1982-86) and as a member of the Select Committee on Assassinations (1976-78) that investigated the deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President John F. Kennedy. In
1987, true to his belief in term limits, he voluntarily stepped down from office.

His wide-ranging career has also included pastorates at United Methodist congregations and stints as a teacher, college chaplain, community organizer, and director of a "think tank" on national security issues.

An active volunteer, Dr. Edgar serves on several boards, including the Board of Directors of Independent Sector, an alliance of national organizations interested in fostering the not-for-profit contribution in society, and of the National Coalition on Health Care. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment and the Advisory Board of the Skirball Institute for American Values.

Dr. Edgar received the bachelor of arts degree from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pa., and the master of divinity degree from the Theological School of Drew University, Madison, N.J. He holds three
honorary doctoral degrees.

Many national organizations have recognized his work with awards, including the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America and the National Taxpayers Union.

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