Exodus to take over Focus' 'Love Won Out'

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP)--Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conferences, which equip the church to reach out to homosexuals, are being transferred to Exodus International, the longtime partners have announced.

The transitioning of the conferences from Colorado-based Focus on the Family to Florida-based Exodus comes 11 years after the first Love One Out conference was held.

Exodus International speakers always have been featured prominently at the conferences, and Focus on the Family says it will continue to provide speakers and financial support to the conferences. A joint press release Aug. 11 said the transition was a "logical step for both organizations." Exodus International is a Christian ministry that seeks to assist homosexuals in overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions.

The final Love Won Out conference sponsored by Focus on the Family will be held in Birmingham, Ala., Nov. 7.

"Exodus is thrilled with this opportunity as the Love Won Out conference is a natural fit in our ongoing efforts to share the hope we've found," Exodus President Alan Chambers said in a statement. "Love Won Out has been and will continue to be a powerful event dedicated to helping the global Christian church better understand and more effectively reflect biblical truth and Christ-like compassion to a hurting world."

The transition comes as Exodus International expands its ministry outreach to churches. Love One Out conferences have been held in 50 cities worldwide. Focus on the Family, the press release said, will continue "its efforts tracking and analyzing homosexuality and its surrounding issues" as well as providing "practical help to its constituents."

Gary Schneeberger, Focus on the Family's vice president of media and public relations, acknowledged that financial considerations were part of the decision.

"Everyone knows these are challenging times for organizations and individuals all across the globe," Schneeberger said. "It is not an inexpensive undertaking to put on a Love Won Out event; and contrary to what our detractors say, the conferences rarely have recouped the financial investment made in them. That is a cost we have always paid because of the positive impact the events have had. With Exodus moving aggressively to strengthen its church outreach, though, they are the ones who ought to be shepherding Love Won Out as it continues on in its second decade. Our financial challenges have led us to recognize a strategic opportunity that makes sense independent of economic circumstances."


Compiled by Michael Foust, assistant editor of Baptist Press. For more information about the Love Won Out conferences, visit www.Lovewonout.com. For more information about Exodus International, visit www.Exodus-international.org.

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