Michael Farris

Michael Farris

When the Alliance Defending Freedom was founded two decades ago, Christians were losing in the courts: Prayer was being removed from schools and other public places, Bibles were being taken out of motels, expressions of Christian faith were being punished in the military and crosses were vanishing from public lands.

Since then, the organization — which now has 3,100 allied attorneys and more than 300 allied organizations — has played a part in 49 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court and wins four of every five cases it takes on.

Now Alan Sears, ADF’s founding CEO for 23 years, will take a new role at the organization, and Michael P. Farris, the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, will become ADF’s second president, CEO and general counsel.

The author of more than 15 books, Farris has been a litigator, educator, public advocate, pastor and communicator.

He graduated from Western Washington State College and got his law degree from Gonzaga University. At Gonzaga, he was articles editor of the Law Review and winner of the Linden Cup Moot Court Competition.

He also earned an LL.M. in Public International Law from the University of London.

From the WND Superstore now available is “Against All Odds – Israel Survives: The Complete First Season,” about the facts. Those are that Israel has triumphed through four major wars and relentless terror attacks, and asks whether a divine power upholds the country.

As a specialist in appellate litigation, he’s argued before supreme and appellate courts in 13 states, eight of the courts of appeal in the U.S. court circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times.

He’s testified before both the House and Senate on issues such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and has opposed United Nations intervention in American constitutional rights.

He served for a nearly a decade on the board of Christian Solidarity International, a Swiss-based human rights organization.

Farris helped pioneer the contemporary homeschool movement in the U.S., expanding HSLDA’s legal efforts to Sweden, France and Germany.

In starting Patrick Henry College, he is helping restore a strong commitment to biblical truth and the classical liberal arts.

Farris will step down as chairman of the board of HSLDA and chancellor emeritus of Patrick Henry College.

“It’s bittersweet in the sense of having to change — I wish I could continue to do what I’m doing in some respects and do this-but that’s just not physically possible,” Farris said in a video announcement. “[My wife Vickie and I] believe this is God’s call for our lives for this season, and we’re looking forward to doing more things, different things, expanded things for the work of the Lord in this new venue.”

His comments:

He also helped start and lead ParentalRights.org, Convention of States, Madison Project and Generation Joshua.

Farris will remain on the board of directors of HSLDA, which he said is in the capable hands of co-founder J. Michael Smith, who has served as president since 2000.

“I have 33 years of absolute confidence in Mike Smith and the leadership that he will bring and the stability, and in the rest of the team as well,” he said. “The people that serve as vice presidents [at HSLDA] all have been here for [up to] 25 years, and the stability and the solid judgment that are in all the leadership positions give me a real confidence.”

He said his goal at ADF will be to make it larger than the ACLU.

“The days look pretty dark if you look objectively around us right now. But they looked really, really dark in the first days of the homeschooling movement. I’ve been privileged to walk through those dark days and come out on the other side and see the light of day shining brightly and consistently. And that’s what I want to see in the other areas of life that ADF is going to be involved in,” he said.

From the WND Superstore now available is “Against All Odds – Israel Survives: The Complete First Season,” about the facts. Those are that Israel has triumphed through four major wars and relentless terror attacks, and asks whether a divine power upholds the country.

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