American Family Association 2016 report:
Thanks for defending Judeo-Christian Values
It’s never too late to do what’s right
December 2016 – The cover of the October 2016 AFA Journal portrays a monkey as a symbol of the secular progressive movement rooted in Darwinian evolution. Sitting atop a giant chess piece, he contemplates his next move in the overthrow of the Christian foundations of our nation.
The provocative image expresses the state of America at the end of 2016 – a nation on the verge of totally betraying its Judeo-Christian beginnings in favor of a godless future.
Christians wonder, Is it too late to restore the republic as a “shining city upon a hill?”
The future is unknown, but our trust rests in the Lord. That’s why in 2016, AFA stood resolute in the conviction that it’s never too late to do what’s right. It is never too late to proclaim that the future of our nation is inexorably tied to our respect for biblical precepts. It is never too late to pray that our merciful God would intervene in the lives of individuals, communities, and nations.
Each AFA ministry undertaking in 2016 – from launching a national boycott to expanding American Family Radio network to filming a new landmark documentary – echoes that conviction.
Below are highlights of those efforts.
Boycotting Target Stores
Over 1.4 million people joined AFA’s boycott of the nation’s second largest retailer. The boycott was initiated after the retailer publicized its policy to allow men to use women’s restrooms and changing facilities – and vice versa.
The Target campaign began on April 21, and the company’s second-quarter report was the first to reveal if the boycott by 1.4 million consumers was having an impact.
Analyzing the report, AFR’s Dan Celia, president of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, said annual sales dropped 1.1% compared to the second quarter last year – a loss of $1.3 billion. Foot traffic in stores was also down 2.2%.
“And notably, annual sales are down for the first time in more than two years,” Celia said. For instance, last year’s second quarter sales for Target jumped 2.4%.
Total revenue for the retailer fell 7.2% in this year’s second quarter.
Expanding American Family Radio
After nearly two years and several frustrating delays, American Family Radio went on the air in northern Virginia in an area where many residents work in government related jobs.
“We had hoped to complete the project early this year,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon, “but FCC regulations, bureaucracy, and red tape delayed the process again and again.”
“We are thankful that it’s finally done,” said AFA vice president Buddy Smith. “And we’re especially grateful for our AFA/AFR partners who stepped up to make it possible financially.”
Also during 2016, AFR began broadcasting to a potential 2.5 million more listeners through new radio stations in Baton Rouge, Houma, and New Orleans, Louisiana; Corpus Christi, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Lexington, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; and Montgomery, Alabama.
Informing and equipping the electorate
In an unpredictable and volatile election year, AFA offered resources, information, and tools necessary for Christian citizens to impact the political process.
The 2016 AFA Action Voter Guide went beyond the headlines and sound bites to offer Americans an accurate profile of candidates running for public office. In an easy-to-use online format, the AFA Action Voter Guide revealed voting records, the source of campaign finances, and much more.
Countering the hostility and bias against conservative Christian values, American Family News, AFA’s online news service, served as a critical source of journalistic balance.
The number of affiliate radio stations broadcasting AFN newscasts tripled in 2016. Likewise, OneNewsNow.com, AFA’s Internet news site, saw a consistently increasing audience. Currently over 250,000 people receive the ONN daily “Newsbrief.” Google statistics reveal an average of 1.0-1.2 million page views and approximately 250,000 unique readers each month.
Other AFA media outlets including AFA Journal, AFR Talk radio shows, and The Stand – AFA’s blog – regularly focused on information and insights aimed at bringing a biblical perspective to national political and social issues. Blogs from The Stand were often seen by millions of users across the Internet.
AFA also sponsored major policy gatherings of conservatives, including the Values Voter Summit in the nation’s capital and and the Pensmore National Symposium on Religious Liberty at College of the Ozarks.
At every opportunity, AFA reminded citizens of their call to be salt and light in their communities, states, and nation.
Producing a landmark documentary
By the end of December, American Family Studios will complete the first production phase of a landmark feature-length documentary titled The God Who Speaks. Coming at a time when Scripture is under assault from nearly every direction, AFA’s new documentary will make a case for the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible. It is scheduled for release in October 2017.
The film will feature some of the most respected voices in evangelicalism including Josh McDowell, R.C. Sproul, Gareth Cockerill, Al Mohler, Ben Witherington, Ligon Duncan, Erwin Lutzer, and Frank Turek. Twenty-three pastors, scholars, and apologists who have been interviewed for this project so far.
In early 2017, AFS filmmakers will travel to the Holy Land and elsewhere to film landscapes, artifacts and historical markers to illustrate the topics discussed in the documentary.
AFA also produced and promoted many other resources aimed at helping Christians grow in Christ. These included several new films in the AFA Cultural Institute, a library of video resources designed to help believers understand the important issues of the day.
Protecting families against offensive media
Through OneMillionMoms.com, AFA continued to monitor entertainment media for immorality, violence, vulgarity, and profanity. With a remarkable record, 1MM scored victory after victory in protecting families. A sampling of 2016 victories:
▶ Angel From Hell was cancelled after only five episodes. 1MM voiced concern over this spiritually dangerous program, and a lack of sponsorship played a major role in the show’s cancellation.
▶ The ABC series The Muppets was cancelled. The comedy series lasted only one season after 1MM warned parents the new adaptation was for adults only.
▶ 1MM participated in a nationwide campaign urging McDonald’s to filter the Internet WiFi signal in their restaurants. McDonald’s now has a new filtered WiFi policy in its corporate-owned restaurants in the U.S., and has made the same service available to franchisees.
During 2016, AFA also relaunched One Million Dads, an online resource for Christian fathers, and promoted The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity by Alex McFarland.
Reaching the Millennial generation
AFA’s effort to reach 20- to 35-year-old Americans, commonly called Millennials, came into full bloom in 2016. The hub of the effort is Engage, an online magazine.
Through the Engage website, social media, podcasts, radio shows, a print magazine, and speaking engagements, young AFA staffers reached thousands of Americans previously unfamiliar with AFA.
Supporting other worthy ministries
As has been its practice since the beginning, AFA used its national voice to promote and encourage other gospel-centered, trustworthy ministries. In 2016, some of these included India Partners, Truth for Youth Bibles, National Day of Prayer, Samaritan’s Purse, Galcom International, Lovelady Center, SIFAT, 8 Days of Hope, and many others.
AFA BY THE NUMBERS
▶ Founded: 1977
▶ About 926,830 people connect with AFA on the Internet each month.
▶ American Family Radio has 182 stations in 33 states. That’s a potential audience of just over 36 million.
▶ 1.2 million people receive AFA Action Alerts.
▶ AFA Journal is mailed to about 150,000 homes, 11 times a year.
American Family Association afa.net
The Stand afa.net/the-stand
American Family Radio afr.net
AFA Journal afajournal.org
American Family Studios americanfamilystudios.net
American Family News Network onenewsnow.com
AFA Foundation afafoundation.net
1 Million Moms onemillionmoms.com
1 Million Dads onemilliondads.com
AFA Marriage Conferences repairingthefoundations.net
Engage Magazine engagemagazine.net
Urban Family Communications urbanfamilytalk.com