The president of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) for more than a decade, E. Brandt Gustavson, died May 14 of cancer. Gustavson, 64, was diagnosed less than two months ago with terminal cancer of the liver and pancreas.

Gustavson served as chief executive of NRB, based in Manassas, Virginia, since 1990. He previously had been a member of the organization's executive committee and board of directors.

In the May issue of the organization's magazine, NRB Chairman Wayne Pederson credited Gustavson with turning around the organization after the Christian broadcasting scandals of the 1980s damaged its image and finances.

"Membership is at an all-time high of nearly 1,400 members," Pederson said. "Finances are strong. And we're about to move into our own headquarters building, which is well on the way to being paid for. … God has used Brandt Gustavson to help bring us to this point."

President Bush commended Gustavson, in a letter read at the association's annual convention in Dallas earlier this year, "for your commitment to standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability." Bush added, "Your positive leadership helps make Christian programming accessible for American families."

Before joining NRB, Gustavson had spent his career in religious broadcasting. From 1986 to 1990, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Trans World Radio, now headquartered in Cary, North Carolina.

He previously spent 25 years at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, directing its broadcasting network and later serving as vice president and administrator of development. He managed radio stations owned by the institute and also worked at several Midwest radio stations. Gustavson, past president of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, was a charter board member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

"Words cannot fully express what Brandt meant to all of those whose lives he touched," said Michael Glenn, executive vice president of the Christian broadcasting association, in a statement. "His life was dedicated to serving Christ. And now he tastes the eternal joys of heaven."

Related Elsewhere:

The National Religious Broadcasters site has a PowerPoint presentation (PPT | HTML) from the memorial service, as well as a press release about Gustavson's passing.

NRB Chairman Wayne Pederson's tribute to Gustavsonin the May 2001 issue of NRB magazine is also available at the organization's site.

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