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Home » Archives » News Archives » 2005 News Archive » January 12, 2005 – NARLA Forms Western Regional Chapter

January 12, 2005 – NARLA Forms Western Regional Chapter


SACRAMENTO, CA - The North American Religious Liberty Association is pleased to announce the formation of the NARLA - West chapter of the advocacy organization.

"NARLA - West is destined to play a vital role in advancing the cause of religious liberty," said James Standish, executive director of the national organization. "The strength of NARLA - West is not only its exceptionally dedicated leadership team, but its growing rank and file membership At the end of the day, it is those members who are going to ensure that religious liberty is not merely an ideal, but rather a practical reality."

During the inaugural meeting of the Board of Directors on January 5-7, 2005 in Pismo Beach, California, Michael Peabody, an attorney and governmental affairs director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council, was chosen executive director of NARLA - West.

Additional NARLA - West officers include treasurer Alan Reinach, executive secretary John Bechtel, director for educational affairs / youth outreach Tim Erich, director for community outreach Washington Johnson, director for clergy outreach James Lee, director for diversity Mary Gaines, director for leader mentoring William Brooks, and recording secretary Kara Lewis.

"We look forward to working closely with the national organization to create a solid grassroots program to promote liberty of conscience locally, nationally and globally," Peabody said. "It is a privilege to work with such a qualified group of people on the cutting edge of these issues."

Headquartered in Sacramento, California, the NARLA - West chapter encompasses five western states: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

Issues of immediate concern to NARLA West include passing legislation to combat the growing intolerance that people of faith experience in the American workplace, working to ensure fundamental freedoms are not lost in our post-9/11 world, and advancing the cause of liberty in some of the most inhospitable nations on earth.

NARLA exists to ensure that all peaceful people of faith are accorded the fundamental right to not only hold beliefs but to actively practice their faith. NARLA's goal is to be the nation's clearest, most consistent and most effective voice for freedom of conscience.

NARLA is affiliated with the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA). The IRLA was founded in 1893 and now has over 50 national and regional chapters around the world.

Membership in NARLA is open to the public. To join NARLA or to learn more about it, visit: