Danny Shelton, founder of Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN), stepped down Friday, September 27, 2019, from his position as president of the international Adventist television ministry.
Shelton made the announcement at the 2019 Fall 3ABN Camp Meeting, surrounded by his wife, Yvonne Lewis-Shelton; 3ABN executives and their spouses; along with several pastors in attendance.
During a tearful transition, Shelton passed the baton to Greg Morikone, who currently serves as the network’s vice president and production manager. Morikone, who joined the ministry 20 years ago, stood next to his wife, Jill, who serves as chief operating officer.
Shelton, 68, said he was stepping aside because the time had come for him to slow down. Therefore, the board recently asked Morikone, who joined the ministry 20 years ago, to assume the position of president.
“My life is 3ABN; it always will be,” Shelton said. “So, I am not resigning, lest anybody say, ‘Danny’s quitting, Danny’s resigning.’ I couldn’t.
“I just gave them a big talk about never quitting, right?” he asked, motioning to the Morikones. “Never give up.”
The transition comes as 3ABN remains embroiled in a bitter dispute with former 3ABN Kids Time host Brenda Walsh over money raised for a proposed children’s studio in Collegedale, Tenn., a project that 3ABN has since abandoned. In a recent interview, Walsh estimated the amount to be between $1 and $2 million. While making the announcement, Shelton said 3ABN was short $1 million and would continue with fundraising activities.
Shelton said he considered both Morikones for the president position, and gave them a choice. He said Greg Morikone decided to take the job because he had witnessed attacks against Shelton and wanted to protect his wife from “darts” that she might face.
Following the announcement, Pastor Doug Batchelor prayed over the couple asking God to bless their ministry.
Morikone said he and his wife felt blessed to be a part of 3ABN and would collaborate with the Sheltons and other leaders to continue the network’s mission.
“It’s an emotional day for me,” he said, his voice breaking with emotion. “3ABN has meant a lot to my family through the years.”
Editor’s Note: See related article 3ABN-Brenda Walsh Split Rocks Adventist Network on Spectrummagazine.org.
Alva James-Johnson is an award-winning journalist who has worked for several newspapers across the country. She is a life-long Seventh-day Adventist, active in the local church, along with her husband and two young-adult children. Contact her at email@example.com.
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