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What is the Christian Coalition of America?

Christian Coalition of America

The Christian Coalition of America is a grassroots conservative political organization advocating for the rights of people of faith in the United States. The original entity, the Christian Coalition, was founded by Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson (1930—2023) in 1987 to mobilize and inform Christian voters. The advocacy group is comprised of supporters from various Christian denominations, including mainline Protestants, Catholics, Baptists, and Pentecostals.

Today, the Christian Coalition of America is classified as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit. The organization was established by Pat Robertson during the months leading up to his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988. Robertson withdrew from the race before the primaries and used the resources accumulated during his campaign to kickstart the coalition’s operations.

The Christian Coalition was first directed by American political consultant and lobbyist Ralph Reed. The organization set up independent chapters in forty-nine states, claiming tax exemption and operating under that status while its application was pending. However, in 1996, the Federal Election Commission filed suit against the Christian Coalition, accusing the group of endorsing and donating to candidates running for federal office, which was prohibited for entities with tax-exempt status.

The coalition’s primary efforts have been to educate Christian voters on important issues and provide information about the candidates’ stand on those issues. Mainly through churches, the group has distributed millions of non-partisan voter guides and scorecards outlining the candidates’ positions.

In 1999 the IRS denied the Christian Coalition’s application for tax-exempt, nonprofit status and required the group to pay an estimated $400,000 in back taxes. In answer, the Christian Coalition of Texas, which had been granted tax-exempt status as a subsidiary of the Christian Coalition, restructured, relocated, and recast itself as the Christian Coalition of America, continuing to operate as an educational organization and to distribute millions of voter guides in churches throughout the United States.

The current president and CEO of the Christian Coalition of America is Roberta Combs, a founding member of the Texas chapter and business owner of a political consulting group. She has been a pro-family advisor to local, state, and national campaigns, governors, members of Congress, senators, and former United States President George W. Bush. Once based in Washington, D.C., the Christian Coalition of America is now headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina.

The five-fold mission of the Christian Coalition of America is to “represent the pro-family perspective before” school boards and local, state, and national councils and legislators; be a Christian voice “in the public arena and in the media”; train and educate Christian “leaders for effective social and political action”; “inform pro-family voters” about issues and laws; and “protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith” (, accessed 2/1/24).

The Christian Coalition of America’s legislative agenda consists of ending the public funding of abortion, promoting energy independence initiatives, reforming the criminal justice system, defending Second Amendment rights, supporting the defense of Israel, repealing and replacing Obamacare, advocating for evangelical Christian military chaplains, opposing the “Fairness Doctrine,” reducing the national debt, defending traditional marriage laws, and increasing military spending.

The influence of the Christian Coalition of America has waned since the 1990s and early 2000s. By 2005, the group had downsized considerably, employing only two people and operating on a much-reduced budget “of $1.3 million, down from the $26 million it enjoyed a decade ago” (, accessed 2/3/24).

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This page last updated: February 13, 2024