The Coalition of African American Pastors Announces Name Change

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The organization’s new name reflects its expanded mission

The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), a national nonprofit group that advocates for faith-aligned public policy, announced today that it is changing its name. The initials, CAAP, will now stand for the Coalition of Americans for Action and Principles. 

CAAP founder, Rev. Bill Owens said, “It’s been a long time since we were just a group of African-American pastors, it’s time our name reflected that reality.”

Rev. Owens, a civil rights leader and influential minister with the Church of God in Christ, founded CAAP more than two decades ago. According to Rev. Owens, the original mission of CAAP was to unify African American pastors behind what he saw as “common-sense, faith-based public policy priorities” such as support for the nuclear family and the sanctity of life.

Over time, CAAP’s influence and base of support grew beyond its original target of African American pastors. By the late 1990s, senators, governors, congressmen, and policy think tanks were regularly turning to Rev. Owens and CAAP for advice and counsel. 

In recent years, Rev. Owens has been a frequent guest at the White House, advising both Presidents Bush and Trump. He is a sought-after guest on cable news outlets like CNN and Fox. He has also led numerous national conferences and events. 

As the scope and influence of the organization has grown, its base of support diversified. CAAP supporters now include people of all races and many Christian denominations. 

In 2021, Rev. Owens stepped back from day-to-day operational leadership of CAAP, handing executive leadership to his wife, educator, and activist Dr. Deborah De Sousa Owens.

“We are full of optimism and excitement about the future of CAAP,” said Dr. Owens. “We know our nation is at a crossroad and we want to bring our priorities of common-sense, faith-based values to the forefront of America’s public policy conversations.”

Dr. Owens believes education—both public and private—is one of the most pressing issues policymakers must grapple with in coming years. “CAAP will be focusing much of our energy on amplifying the voices of parents when it comes to policy debates around education,” she said.