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Influential Evangelical Leader Dan Busby Dies

Dan Busby, who served the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) in Winchester, Va., for more than 30 years, died on September 28. The cause of death was cancer. He was 81.

Busby was honored six times by The NonProfit Times — 2010-2015 — as part of the publication’s annual Power & Influence Top 50 of leaders in the nonprofit sector.

ECFA’s membership nearly doubled during Busby’s tenure as president, from 2008 to his retirement in 2020. Busby was the organization’s sixth president. He joined ECFA in 1989, initially as a volunteer member of the ECFA Standards Committee. He became vice president of ECFA in March 1999.

In 2011, he helped form a multi-year national Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations in response to a request from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Ongoing Capitol Hill involvement included ECFA’s assistance to preserve the charitable contribution deduction in the 2017 Tax Reform legislation. Busby personally conducted more than 300 on-site compliance reviews of ECFA ministries and churches.

Prior to EFCA, Busby was controller of the University of Kansas Medical Center 1964 to 1975. He was a founding partner in the Kansas City accounting firm Busby and Keller firm 1975 to 1985. He was selected as a distinguished alumnus of Emporia State University where he received his Master of Business Administration degree.

“ECFA was remarkably blessed by Dan Busby’s humble and dedicated service to the ministry for over 30 years, and the continued impact of Dan’s legacy will be felt within the ECFA team and membership far beyond the next three decades,” said Michael Martin, ECFA’s president and CEO via a statement.

EFCA Board Chair Wayne Pederson said via a statement: “Dan Busby was a genius at connecting, communicating, leading and innovating as he served the members of ECFA and the Kingdom of God. Dan was not only an esteemed ministry colleague, but a dear friend who cared deeply about the family of God and the people he served.”

Busby had many interests outside the ECFA. He and his family recorded three albums of gospel music during the 1970s and performed more than 200 concerts.

“Dan knew that there was trouble in the evangelical community, some by fraud like Jim Bakker and PTL but also mistakes by good, honest people who didn’t have financial training,” said Paul Clolery, vice president and editorial director of The NonProfit Times. “It was his mission to make a permanent change for accountability and that’s why he was among the most important leaders in the sector.”

Busby’s hobbies included a love for baseball and its history and memorabilia. He saw a game in all the current Major League stadiums and 20 that no longer exist. He published two books on baseball memorabilia relating to the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers and was a contributing author to a book on the Federal League. He was an active member of the Society of American Baseball Researchers for several decades and was a frequent resource for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library and Museum.

“No matter how serious an interview with Dan became, and there were plenty of those, we always ended up talking baseball,” said Clolery.

Busby also helped launch Global Trust Partners, a movement of peer accountability organizations like ECFA. “Dan possessed a unique blend of endearing wit and engaging wisdom that could bring out the best in people and inspire them to play their part in strengthening ministries,” said Gary Hoag, president and CEO of Global Trust Partners.