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Focus on the Family history: It started in California with James Dobson

By: The Gazette
March 27, 2017 Updated: March 27, 2017 at 8:13 pm
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photo - Dr. James Dobson, found of Focus on the Family, and his wife Shirley Dobson attended the Trump/Pence rally at the Antlers Hotel on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Pence spoke to hundreds of supporters at the rally. (Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette)
Dr. James Dobson, found of Focus on the Family, and his wife Shirley Dobson attended the Trump/Pence rally at the Antlers Hotel on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Pence spoke to hundreds of supporters at the rally. (Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette) 

Focus on the Family was the largest of dozens of evangelical para-church organizations that relocated to Colorado Springs between 1988 and 1993. Starting this week, Focus is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Members of the public can attend a June 22 chapel service, or sign up for a November cruise, to mark the anniversary.

- The move away from politics for Focus on the Family. 

Focus on the Family timeline

1970: James Dobson publishes "Dare to Discipline," the first of dozens of bestselling books.

1976-77: Dobson takes leave from Children's Hospital of L.A. to found Focus.

1980: "Focus on the Family" radio program goes from weekly to daily on 200 stations.

1983-86: Launches first magazine, Focus on the Family. Releases its first film and publishes its first book.

1988: Public Policy division formed to advocate and lobby for Focus legislative goals.

1991: Focus moves to Colorado Springs, bringing 350 employees and hiring 400 here. Ministry promotes Colorado's anti-gay rights Amendment 2.

1993: 15,000 people attend dedication of 45-acre Briargate campus. Event interrupted by activists from Lesbian Avengers.

1996: Gunman takes four employees hostage in Focus lobby before setting them free and surrendering.

1998: Launches Boundless, webzine for college students, and "Love Won Out" conferences on homosexuality.

2000: One millionth visitor to Focus welcome center.

2003-2005: In planned leadership transition, former Reagan cabinet member Donald Hodel named Focus president. Jim Daly named chief operating officer (2004), and president and CEO (2005).

2009-2010: Dobson resigns, starts new ministry, Family Talk.

Sources: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about/historical-timeline and author research.

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