Key Staff/Board of Directors
Related Interface Documents
Alan Chambers (President)
"Ex-Gay" Advocacy (promotes the "ex-gay" lifestyle, holds conferences encouraging LGBT people to enter "reparative" or "conversion therapy")
Ministry Organizer (organizes and oversees "ex-gay" ministries)
Mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality.
Exodus International was established in 1976 on the belief that LGBT people can change their sexual orientation and become heterosexual through "conversion therapy." Led by President Alan Chambers, the 501c3 organization oversees 105 affiliated ministries that claim they can help people become "ex-gay." Exodus calls itself an "interdenominational Christian organization promoting the message of Freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ."
Exodus sponsors a number of "ex-gay" conferences including the Freedom Conference, for adults seeking to "overcome" same-sex attraction, and the Groundswell Conference, for pastors, campus ministers and students who hope to work with "homosexual issues" among youth. Exodus also teams up with Focus on the Family to produce the Love Won Out conference, which claims to provide "ex-gay" information to parents, pastors, educators and gay people.
The "ex-gay" movement has seen a recent surge in media coverage, with a special emphasis on LGBT youth. A September 2005 Time magazine cover story on LGBT teenagers devoted a large portion of the article to examining efforts to change sexual orientation. The increasing number of "ex-gay" conferences held throughout the country has also prompted and encouraged regional coverage of "ex-gay" issues.
Exodus says it does not force gay and lesbian people to change, but wants to help those who seek "redemption" from Jesus Christ. Its messaging often calls on LGBT people to demonstrate "tolerance" for "ex-gay" people and does not regularly make egregious quotes attacking gays and lesbians. In addition, there has been a shift in the way Exodus and other "ex-gay" organizations define successful "conversion." Previously, "ex-gay" leaders said that it was possible to completely change a person's sexual orientation, but Exodus and other groups now say that same-sex attractions can't be "overcome" and should be controlled through prayer and behavior modification.
Exodus International produces a number of books, videos, and pamphlets about becoming "ex-gay" and publishes a free monthly newsletter called The Exodus Impact. The organization also sponsors a speaker's bureau through which "ex-gay" members tell their stories to church groups and the media.
The founders of Exodus International, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, had married women, but they eventually divorced their wives, renounced the organization, and became a couple.
Alan Chambers: President
Exodus International has seen increased press coverage over the last few years but still receives little attention from mainstream media. The organization was mentioned in approximately ten national news articles in 2006 and President Alan Chambers made several appearances on cable television to talk about "ex-gay" issues. When addressing a mainstream audience, Chambers is careful to paint Exodus as an organization for those who seek help through Christianity and usually avoids talking negatively about gay and lesbian people. Although his ability to appear rational and moderate has helped make Exodus the media's primary source among "ex-gay" organizations, media appearances are still rare.
Impact Newsletter (Monthly Membership Newsletter)
Exodus E-mail (E-mail List)
Freedom From Homosexuality (Informational Brochure)
PODCASTS & MULTIMEDIA:
1998 - present: Love Won Out Conference - organized by Focus on the Family, Exodus spokespeople are usually some of the most prominent speakers at the "ex-gay" conference which is held several times a year 1975 - present: Exodus Freedom Conference - the annual gathering preaches "ex-gay" doctrine and seeks to "convert" gays and lesbians into "ex-gays"
2004: $923, 515
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Exodus International has a relatively small budget and receives the vast majority of its funding from private donors. The only recent grant the organization has received was a $10,000 grant from the Stewardship Foundation in 2002.
"Through Jesus Christ, we found not only a way out of homosexuality and a path towards change, but ultimate healing and purpose in life. We hear from thousands of individuals who are grappling with the same problems and are tired of messages, such as the ones presented in this film, that only further add to their confusion and desperation. Our hope is to empower them with more information and offer the same hope that has brought life and freedom to hundreds of thousands of us over the years."
-Alan Chambers, Good Morning America (ABC), 12.07.05
"If homosexuality is genetic, then that doesn't explain why we see such a similarity in personal backgrounds among the men and women who seek our help. There is a pretty uniform picture of poor family dynamics in general, a rift in the father-son or mother-daughter relationship growing up, feelings of being an outsider among one's peers during childhood and adolescence, and instances of sexual abuse/incest."
-FAQ, Exodus website
Citizens for Community Values
Exodus Global Alliance
Focus on the Family
Love in Action
National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality
National Association of Evangelicals
Alan Chambers, President
Randy Thomas, Executive Vice President
Julie Neils, Director of Media Relations
Scott Davis,Director of Student Ministries
David Fountain, Director of Conference Services
Caryn Davis, Director of Publications
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mike Haley Chair
Rev. John Smid Vice Chair
Phil & Vickie Burress Treasurer
Dan Puumala Secretary
Don and Diana Schmierer
Documents Found: 49
02.17.12 - Jeff Buchanan claims, "One cultural icon claims that we are 'Born This Way'. [sic] But another celebrity announces they have left their same-sex partner to enter into a heterosexual marriage. Those who are challenged by this revelation will scurry to clarify that the person was actually bi-sexual all along. Yet, the concept of change is never acknowledged."
09.08.11 - Exodus International on this weekend's "Love Won Out" conference: "Many who attend the conference are: men, women and young adults who personally struggle with unwanted homosexual feelings, family members and friends committed to demonstrating Christ-like compassion to a gay-identified loved one, and pastors and church staff wanting to learn more about this subject."
03.29.10 - So-called "ex-gay" activist group Exodus International issued a press release condemning the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda's support of the country's proposed anti-gay legislation.
11.17.09 - Exodus International writes to Uganda's Pres. Museveni opposing the Anti-Homosexual Bill of 2009, stating that Exodus "believe[s] that deprivation of life and liberty is not an appropriate or helpful response to [same-sex sexual orientation]."
08.21.09 - Exodus' Jeff Buchanan suggests that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's decision to ordain gay clergy in committed, same-sex relationships will cause "greater confusion for those already conflicted by their sexuality" and lead to the "diminishing [of] the global Christian church."
08.09.09 - Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse claim their study shows that "sexual orientation change is not only possible, but sustainable" and "not likely to cause harm," while Exodus praises their claims as "directly contradict[ing] commonly expressed views of the mental health establishment."
08.06.09 - EI's Alan Chambers: "[Religion] creates great moral conflict and tension for those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction. We are grateful that the APA has acknowledged this and hope to see more done to ensure that religious diversity and personal autonomy are respected in the future."
07.15.09 - Exodus International announces a merger with One by One and Transforming Congregations, bringing these "ex-gay" organizations from Presbyterian, Reformed and United Methodist faith backgrounds "under the leadership of Exodus."
02.24.09 - Exodus International and the ADF are co-sponsoring the so-called "Day of Truth," held on April 20 on high school campuses. Exodus International claim their organization and the event "empower youth to express their views on sexuality" and help students "affected by same-sex attraction to live a life that reflects their biblical beliefs."
04.29.08 - Exodus International is excited about "Day of Truth" which in the anti-gay answer to GLSEN's Day of Silence, and tries to combat "the culture's hopeless, groundless 'born-gay' response."
02.14.08 - Exodus International claims that their membership has increased over the last five years as more people embrace a "countercultural revolution" and acknowledge "God's Truth."
11.14.07 - Exodus Youth, startled by a poll that shows many young Christians describe the church as "anti-homosexual," is saying it will help students "reach out to their gay-identified peers with Christ-like compassion."
10.25.07 - Addressing Barack Obama having an "ex-gay" gospel singer on his tour, Exodus International says "formerly gay identified men and women should be afforded the same rights without public condemnation for their personal decision to leave homosexuality."
10.22.07 - Exodus International's Randy Thomas is skeptical of the existence of a "gay gene," claiming that if there was a "gay gene" he would not have been able to become an "ex-gay."
09.13.07 - Exodus International claims hundreds of people will attend the "Exodus Southeast Regional Freedom Conference" in Brentwood, Tenn. this weekend.
09.07.07 - Exodus International's Alan Chambers on the death of D James Kennedy: "Dr. Kennedy's strong stand on social and moral issues, including the issue of homosexuality, elevated and compelled public debate."
06.29.07 - The Exodus newsletter urges pastors and ministry leaders to discuss "ex-gay" issues, talks about a lobbying event in Washington, DC and has an "ex-gay" testimonial.
06.22.07 - Exodus International allegedly "welcomed news" that a pro-gay conference will counter the "ex-gay" conference in Irvine, Calif.; says it is good to have many talking about the issue.
06.08.07 - Exodus International commends U.S. surgeon general nominee James Holsinger for his belief that people can become "ex-gays." Exodus says it is not endorsing or opposing the nominee.
05.16.07 - Exodus President Alan Chamber commends Jerry Falwell for "his consistent emphasis on the truth that Jesus Christ loves and offers salvation to every individual regardless of their past."
05.03.07 - Randy Thomas of Exodus International condemns federal hate crimes legislation and claims it makes "ex-gays" less deserving of protection than when they "were" gay.
05.01.07 - Outreach magazine, which claims to be a "leading provider of church communication and outreach tools," named an anti-gay Exodus book one of the "Best Target Outreach" books of 2006.
04.27.07 - Exodus President Alan Chambers criticized the House Judiciary Committee for approving federal hate crimes legislation; says it establishes "unequal justice under the law in America."
04.25.07 - Exodus International joined "notable African American leaders" in condemning federal hate crimes legislation. Alan Chambers says it gives "ex-gays" less protection than LGBT people.
04.24.07 - Exodus International President Alan Chambers says he will lead the effort to oppose federal hate crimes legislation; links to an article from the American Family Association.
03.20.07 - Exodus International's Alan Chambers believes the "name-calling" over LGBT issues should be stopped on both the right and left; claims federal hate crimes legislation would value gay people over others.
03.08.07 - Alan Chambers condemns Ann Coulter's use of an anti-gay slur: "...this hurtful word is used to demean an individual who is valuable to God. There is nothing to be gained by denigrating others with crude slurs."
03.05.07 - Exodus International's brochure for its 2007 Freedom Conference, which seeks to turn LGBT people into "ex-gays." Includes speaker list and conference details.
03.05.07 - The February 2007 edition of Exodus Impact talks about its allegedly increasing influence, which included an appearance on Anderson Cooper 360; mentions the upcoming leadership conference.
01.16.07 - Exodus International urges Congress to defeat hate crimes legislation protecting LGBT people. President Alan Chambers says the bill would "essentially destroy" religious freedom.
01.02.07 - Exodus International President Alan Chambers claims "honesty" is the main difference between those who become "ex-gay" and those who "return to a homosexual identity."
11.29.06 - In the November edition of Exodus' newsletter, Alan Chambers acknowledges that the organization is experiencing a "budget shortfall" and addresses the Ted Haggard scandal.
11.15.06 - Exodus International draws attention to an Associated Press article titled "Haggard Case Revives Gay Therapy Debate," which quotes Exodus president Alan Chambers.
11.13.06 - Exodus International's Alan Chambers will speak at a Chicago church about his alleged "personal transformation as a gay teen and young adult who overcame unwanted same-sex attraction."
11.09.06 - Exodus Youth director Mike Ensley criticizes a new video game that allows the game's main player to kiss other boys or girls. Exodus says it "does not support portraying homosexuality to children and adolescents in a positive light."
11.05.06 - Exodus International on Ted Haggard: "No individual is above temptation and moral failure. No individual is excluded from the love and mercy of Christ. No individual should struggle alone in silence."
10.13.06 - Exodus International's Alan Chambers will join the Family Research Council and other anti-gay leaders in a nationwide simulcast to "draw attention to recent cultural influences that threaten to erode religious freedoms."
09.28.06 - Exodus International's "Freedom From Homosexuality" booklet includes "ex-gay" stories and resources encouraging people to "convert".
09.07.06 - Exodus International announces its new book, God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door, which addresses "fear and ignorance within the church" and how to help youth become "ex-gays".
09.05.06 - Exodus' Alan Chambers is among a cohort of hosts for a new TV program called Pure Passion, which will cover "sexual sin" issues such as "homosexual confusion" and "transgendered conditions".
08.31.06 - Exodus International applauds the Archbishop of Canterbury's apparent reversed opinion on same-sex relationships; the Archbishop reportedly told a newspaper that same-sex relationships are incompatible with the Bible.
08.29.06 - Two "ex-gay" organizations, Exodus Global Alliance and PFOX, have named Exodus International president Alan Chambers to their Board of Directors.
08.25.06 - Exodus claims American Psychological Association president Gerald P. Koocher "affirmed a patients' right [sic]" to seek treatment for being gay or lesbian.
08.10.06 - Exodus will join other anti-gay activists at the American Psychological Association's national convention to protest scientific based policies.
07.21.06 - In an open letter to Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), Exodus President Alan Chambers calls homosexuality a "conterfeit sexual orientation" that includes "a never ending cycle of cravings and nourishment seeking that plays out, at best, as one broken relationship after another..."
06.08.06 - Exodus International denounces the Federal Marriage Amendment vote in the Senate; Exodus president Alan Chambers: “As former homosexuals, we are grateful for the opportunity to discuss the personal impact of this critical social issue and will continue working to ensure that marriage remains the unique, life-giving union that it is.”
06.05.06 - Exodus International representatives will join other anti-gay groups at the White House when Bush endorses FMA at a press conference today.
04.25.06 - The April 2006 Exodus International newsletter includes a letter from Alan Chambers, an article on coming out to the Christian community and a piece on hate crimes legislation.
03.28.06 - The March 2006 Exodus Youth newsletter claims gay activists should not blame extreme right organizations for anti-gay hate crimes.
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