RCC Timeline

Explore the highlights of Religion Communicators Council's 80+ years of promoting faith perspectives in public discourse.

1929Religious Publicity Council (RPC) founded Nov. 27 in Washington, D.C., with 29 charter members. They endorsed paid ads for religious purposes and appointment of local church publicity directors. Membership limited to Protestant Christians.

1930 — First Religious Communicators Directory/Manual published.

1947 — First local chapter chartered in Washington.

1949 — First Award of Merit in Journalism for excellence in communicating religious issues, values and themes presented to four Washington daily newspapers at 20th National Convention in Washington. The Award of Merit became the Wilbur Award in 1985.

1949 — Organization began calling itself the National Religious Publicity Council (NRPC) to indicate expanding scope of membership.

1950 — First Counselor newsletter issue published.

1955 — Professional Aims for Religious Public Relations Personnel adopted. They evolved into the current Guidelines for Ethical Conduct.

1959 — First Award of Merit in Radio/TV presented to WMAL-TV, Washington.

1959Marvin C. Wilbur, 1957-59 NRPC president, named first executive secretary.

1960 — Organization incorporated as National Religious Publicity Council Inc., under New York law.

1963 — Name changed to Religious Public Relations Council Inc. (RPRC)

1967 — Membership opened to communicators from all Christian communions.

1967 — Circle logo adopted (symbolic dot and sound waves).

1967 — First Paul M. Hinkhouse Annual Graphics Arts Awards presented. Hinkhouse was a charter member of RPC.

1969 — First Handbook for local congregations on public relations published.

1969 — MEDIAKIT, a periodic “shopping bag of ideas in communication” for RPRC members, first appears.

1970 — National Convention meets in conjunction with Religious Communications Congress in Chicago.

1972 — Membership opened to communicators of all faiths.

1976 — Second edition of Religious Public Relations Handbook published.

1976The Church at Jackrabbit Junction filmstrip on local church public relations produced.

1976 — Hinkhouse Awards become DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Communication Awards.

1978The Church at Jackrabbit Junction transferred to videotape.

1979 — 50th anniversary celebrated in New York.

1980 — National Convention meets in conjunction with Religious Communications Congress '80 in Nashville.

1982 — Third edition of Religious Public Relations Handbook published.

1985 — Marvin C. Wilbur retires as RPRC executive secretary. Anne Reimel elected as replacement.

1985Award of Merit named for Marvin C. Wilbur.

1988 — Fourth edition of Religious Public Relations Handbook published.

1989 — 60th anniversary celebrated in Washington.

1990 — Anne Reimel completes five-year term as executive secretary. J. Ron Byler elected as executive director.

1990 — National Convention meets in conjunction with Religious Communications Congress '90 in Nashville.

1994 — J. Ron Byler ends term as executive director.

1995How Shall They Hear? (fifth edition of religion public relations handbook) published.

1996Lois J. Anderson named administrator.

1997 — First RPRC web site launched.

1998 — Name changed to Religion Communicators Council (RCC).

1999How Shall They Hear? (sixth edition of religion communicators handbook) published.

1999 — 70th anniversary celebrated in Washington.

2000 — National Convention meets in conjunction with Religious Communications Congress 2000 in Chicago.

2001 — RCC joins Universal Accreditation Board, begins offering Accredited in Public Relations certification.

2001Shirley Whipple Struchen, 1996-98 RPRC president, named executive director.

2004Speaking Faith (seventh edition of religion communicators handbook) published.

2004 — 75th anniversary celebrated in Birmingham.

2006Guidelines for Ethical Conduct adopted.

2008The Church at Jackrabbit Junction transferred to DVD.

2009 — 80th anniversary celebrated in Boston/Cambridge. RCC establishes a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. RCC opens a discussion group on LinkedIn.

2010 — National Convention meets in conjunction with Religion Communication Congress 2010 in Chicago.

2012 — Corporate bylaws revised during National Convention in Philadelphia.

2014 — 85th anniversary celebrated in Nashville.

2013 — RCC established YouTube channel and LinkedIn company page.

2014 — RCC closes LinkedIn discussion group from 2009.

2015 — RCC launches emphasis on religious literacy as part of 2015 National Convention in Alexandria, VA.

2015 — First class of Handa Fellows in Interreligious Communication announced. Program is a joint effort of RCC, Religion Newswriters Association and Shinto International Foundation.

2016 — RCC sponsors first webinar for members. Robert Jones of Public Religion Research Institute talks about “New Results from the American Values Survey: Making Sense of the Changing Religious and Political Landscape in the United States.”

 
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