Founder of the American Family Association dies in Mississippi

Dec 28, 2023, 4:01 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Donald Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association, a conservative Christian advocacy group, has died, the organization announced Thursday.

The 85-year-old Mississippi native died on Thursday from complications related to Lewy body dementia, an obituary published by WTVA-TV said. Wildmon died in Tupelo, Mississippi, the city where the American Family Association is based. The obituary referred to Wildmon as “one of the legendary leaders of American conservatism.”

“His impressive legacy of Christian ministry will live on for many years to come,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Wildmon founded the AFA, first known as the National Federation for Decency, in 1977 after working as a pastor for the United Methodist Church.

Since its inception, the conservative advocacy group has launched campaigns and boycotts to pressure corporations to avoid supporting causes the group opposed, such as LGBT anti-discrimination measures.

In 1991, Wildmon launched American Family Radio, which set up radio stations across the U.S. to spread the AFA’s message. Wildmon led the AFA for 33 years, the obituary said. He stepped down in 2010, and his son, Tim Wildmon, now leads the organization.

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Founder of the American Family Association dies in Mississippi