At some point during a tumultuous year for the Fellowship Foundation--famous for the National Prayer Breakfast and ties to more than one national scandal--the influential group got a new president, according to tax documents obtained by The Young Turks.
Started in 1942, the Fellowship Foundation for decades has hosted the National Prayer Breakfast, a high-profile annual event co-chaired by members of Congress from both parties. The group found itself in the national spotlight a decade ago during scandals involving two of its members, then-Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and then-Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who is now a member of Congress.
More recently, the Fellowship appeared in an FBI charging document against accused Russian agent Maria Butina, who attended the 2016 and 2017 National Prayer Breakfasts and allegedly sought to network with American officials and influential figures through connections with unnamed persons in the Fellowship.
Rep. Bob Aderholt (R-AL), who has ties to the Fellowship, was identified by the FBI earlier this year as having met with lobbyists secretly working for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on behalf of Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych. TYT previously reported that Aderholt also met with Yanukovych himself and wealthy patron Rinat Akhmetov in Ukraine on a trip paid for by the Fellowship Foundation.
The Fellowship suffered a significant loss last year with the death of its spiritual guiding light, Douglas Coe, a long-time friend and counselor to many of Washington’s most powerful in both parties, as well as the patriarch of a core group of Fellowship associates, employees, and volunteers.
The Fellowship’s new president is Katherine Crane, who has never been an officer, but joined the board of directors in 2008. Officers are unsalaried and typically put in minimal hours per week on Fellowship work. Crane is married to Douglas Crane, a former member of the board and now an employee drawing a $47,000 salary, according to the filing. Douglas Crane is not listed as an employee in last year’s 990 filing. The filing, dated Nov. 15, has not yet been made public but was provided by the Fellowship’s legal counsel in response to a request by TYT.