Pentecostal Tapped to Head Faith Office

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President Barack Obama has chosen a Pentecostal pastor to head the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, according to The New York Times. Obama has not yet made an official announcement.

Joshua DuBois, an associate pastor at Calvary Praise and Worship Center, worked for Obama as political strategist in religious affairs during the President's tenure in the Senate and transition to the presidency. DuBois was instrumental in reaching out to religious leaders across the faith spectrum - particularly Evangelicals.

The 26-year old received his master's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affair at Princeton University.

University of Pennsylvania Prof. John J. Dilulio, who was the first person to head up the office, praised Dubois for his steadiness.

"I've been very impressed with this young man," Dilulio told the Times. "He is smart. He is calm. He is steady and I think he's very close to the new President. He'd be a good guy to do it."

Obama has endeavored to expand the program's scope, created by former President George W. Bush. He started the changes by renaming the office: The President's Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The goal is to guide federal funds toward religious charities and to get them involved in government anti-poverty work.

And while Bush allowed religious groups latitude in making employment decisions based upon faith, Obama has different ideas.

The new President has floated the idea of permitting faith groups to make such decisions only in the non-taxpayer-funded areas of their activities.

Sources: The New York Times, Associated Press

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