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Promise Keepers Brings Coach Bill McCartney Out of Retirement

Men's Ministry Founder Returns as Chairman/CEO

Contact: Raleigh Washington, 303-964-7774

DENVER, Sept. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- Former University of Colorado football coach, and co-founder of the national Christian men's ministry Promise Keepers (PK), Bill McCartney has returned to the helm of the organization five years after resigning. McCartney, 68, will assume his new role effective immediately and has brought back former Promise Keepers executive and current PK board member Raleigh Washington to serve as president.

Promise Keepers was birthed in 1990 following a discussion between McCartney and friend Dave Wardell, Ph.D., in which McCartney dreamed about filling the University of Colorado's Folsom Field with 50,000 men for teaching on what it means to be a godly man. That summer the two men convened 72 men to pray about a national Christian men's conference. The following year 4,200 men gathered at the University of Colorado Events Center for the organization's first conference.

The number grew to 22,000 when men representing every state in the nation gathered in Folsom Field in July 1992. McCartney's initial dream was fulfilled in 1993 when 50,000 men packed Folsom Field and the ministry of Promise Keepers was up and running. Attendance at multiple stadium events grew to 278,000 in 1994, 738,000 in 1995 and more than a million in 1996. In 1997 more than one million men gathered on the National Mall in Washington for "Stand in the Gap."

Since 1990, Promise Keepers has drawn more than 6 million men to some 250 conferences in stadiums and arenas across North America. In 2003, Bill McCartney resigned as president of the organization he helped start. He has since launched a ministry called "Road to Jerusalem," whose vision is to mobilize the Body of Christ to partner with Jewish believers.

Having spoken at PK's Atlanta conference last month, McCartney is excited about the future of the Promise Keepers ministry and will begin unveiling plans for 2009 and beyond after he and Washington have had an opportunity to meet with the ministry's staff in the coming days.