Long-Time ECFA Leader Dan Busby with the Lord

Dan Busby, who served ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) for more than 30 years, died on September 28, 2022, at age 81. Dan will be remembered for his prolific writing, his passion for ECFA and its members, as well as his kindness and faithful leadership. Under his tenure, the size of ECFA’s membership nearly doubled, and he spearheaded a significant progression of member service offerings.

Dan was born in 1941 in Kansas. His father was a preacher and his mother a teacher. Dan received a Master of Business Administration from Emporia State University. The university would later name him a Distinguished Alumnus. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1964 and retained this status until his passing.

At age 23, Dan married his wife, Claudette. Besides raising a son, Alan, and a daughter, Julie, together they recorded three albums of gospel music in the 1970s and presented over 200 concerts.

After a successful and varied career that included positions at CPA firms (including the founding of a CPA firm in Kansas City in 1975 that continues to operate under the name Keller & Owens), higher education, a religious denomination, and healthcare, Dan’s work with ECFA began in 1989 when he served as a volunteer member of the ECFA Standards Committee. He served on that committee for a decade and spent the next decade on ECFA staff in senior leadership positions. In 2008, Dan became ECFA’s sixth (and to date, longest-serving) president. At his 2020 retirement, he was named president emeritus.

His work accomplishments include a dramatic increase in membership under his leadership, with local churches as the fastest-growing membership component in recent years. During his era, not only did ECFA set records in terms of new members accredited, but it also maintained a 97% member-retention rate. Dan was always attentive and available to members and innovating new resources and services. During his tenure at ECFA, Dan personally conducted more than 300 on-site compliance reviews of ECFA ministries and churches.

In 2011, he helped form a multi-year national Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations in response to a request from U.S. Senator Charles Grassley. Ongoing Capitol Hill involvement included ECFA’s assistance to preserve the charitable contribution deduction in the 2017 Tax Reform legislation.

“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, the current President and CEO of ECFA who had the pleasure of being mentored by Dan and advancing many of ECFA’s strategic initiatives together before becoming Dan’s successor in 2020.       

“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,” said ECFA Board Chair Wayne Pederson.

Dan also helped launch what is today called Global Trust Partners, a worldwide 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, who met Dan Busby 20-plus years ago and describes Dan as like a “father” to him.

Dan was a prolific speaker across the U.S. for 40 years, most frequently as an expert on nonprofit tax and finance issues. Dan represented ECFA at many nonprofit conferences, on college campuses, at churches large and small, and more. By his retirement from ECFA, he had authored or co-authored more than 70 editions of 14 different books—nine of them written when in his 70s. He also published many ECFA eBooks.

“Dan was a category of one—and while leveraging the detail and clarity of his CPA background, he beautifully blended in his stunning leadership gifts of vision, collaboration, generosity, and excellence,” said John Pearson, who co-authored four governance books with Dan and described those projects as “pure joy.”

Dan’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 significant 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.

Dan died of cancer at his home in Winchester, VA. He is survived by Claudette, his wife of 58 years, two children, Julie and Alan, and their four grandchildren. His online memorial service conducted by Rev. Steve McVey, Mr. John Pearson, and Rev. Dr. Gary Hoag can be viewed at https://bit.ly/DanBusby. The family requests that any memorial gifts be made to Dirt Roads Network  or Global Trust Partners.

 

 

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