Donald E. Wildmon, chairman of American Family Association (AFA) for more than 30 years, has resigned as chairman of the board for the national ministry. The resignation comes following several months of hospitalization. A bite from a mosquito carrying the St. Louis encephalitis virus caused Wildmon’s illness.
From August to November of last year Wildmon spent 121 days in the hospital and rehab. In addition to the St. Louis encephalitis, he underwent surgery for cancer on his left eye.
The retired United Methodist minister began AFA in 1977 in his dining room with a typewriter and a used offset press. Today the ministry operates on a $20 million annual budget with 175 employees. The ministry owns and operates 180 radio stations, a monthly magazine with a circulation of 170,000 and an internet presence of 2.5 million supporters.
Wildmon said he will continue to work at the ministry but will not have a leadership role. He said his son Tim, who has been with AFA for 24 years, is expected to lead the ministry.
Wildmon said he will also work on a national scale with other pro-family ministries.