Celebrating 25 Years Building Freedom’s Future
from 25 Years
January 31, 1994
Launch of Alliance Defending Freedom
On January 31, 1994, Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as Alliance Defense Fund) is introduced to the nation at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Washington, D.C., with Alan Sears as President, CEO & General Counsel.
Funding a Supreme Court Victory
ADF provides funding for Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors, enabling a critical U.S. Supreme Court victory that led to numerous other First Amendment wins.
Establishing the ADF Legal Academy
The first-ever ADF Legal Academy begins training Christian attorneys in constitutional law so they can provide pro bono/dedicated service to the Body of Christ.
Introducing Blackstone Legal Fellowship
The Blackstone Legal Fellowship begins training some of the best and brightest Christian law students from across the nation.
ADF Center for Academic Freedom Formed
Alliance Defending Freedom forms the Center for Academic Freedom (CAF), which has earned an almost 90 percent success rate in challenging violations of students' and faculty members' First Amendment rights on public university campuses
Fighting to Save a Life
ADF goes to court to save the life of gravely injured Jesse Ramirez, who faced certain death after his food and water were illegally removed.
Defending Persecuted Christians in India and Worldwide
As one of the thousands of victims of mob violence against Christians in eastern India, Chandra Digal receives justice for herself and the other victims as she takes a courageous stand with the help of ADF Allied Attorneys. These growing human rights abuses in India—and worldwide—highlight the need for a global defense of religious freedom.
Launch of ADF International
Launched as a global partner of Alliance Defending Freedom, ADF International protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.
New Name, Same Mission
Founded as Alliance Defense Fund, the organization changes its name to Alliance Defending Freedom to better highlight who we are—an alliance—with what we do—defend freedom.
Barronelle’s Journey Begins
Targeted by her state attorney general and the ACLU, the Washington floral artist quickly becomes an important figure in the fight for freedom of conscience nationwide.
A Disappointing Denial
The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear the case of New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguenin, which leaves in place a judicial opinion declaring that the “price of citizenship” requires people of faith to violate their religious beliefs.
Big Victory for Prayer
In the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Americans are free to pray according to their own beliefs to open public meetings.
June 26, 2014
Setting a Winning Precedent for Life and Free Speech
In the case of McCullen v. Coakley, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously strikes down a Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot “buffer zone” restricting pro-life advocates from speaking with people entering abortion facilities.
June 30, 2014
Battling the Abortion Pill Mandate
The U.S. Supreme Court rules against the Obama Administration’s abortion pill mandate in favor of two family run businesses, Conestoga Wood Specialties and Hobby Lobby. This sets the stage for additional Supreme Court victories against the mandate—including another ADF case, Zubik v. Burwell (2016).
Challenging Attacks on the Church
Five Houston-area pastors are subpoenaed by the city to turn over speeches, writings, counseling notes, or sermons on gender identity, homosexuality, or mentioning the mayor. Public outcry over the treatment of the “Houston 5” increases awareness of growing attacks on the Church and leads to the eventual founding of the ADF Church Alliance (2017) to prepare churches for the legal threats ahead.
Landmark Victory for Free Speech
In the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the U.S. Supreme Court rules 9-0 that the Town of Gilbert’s sign code is facially unconstitutional and discriminates against the content of Good News Community Church’s signs.
Milestone: One Million Pro Bono Hours
ADF Allied Attorneys report their one millionth pro bono hour to serve the Body of Christ and fight for religious freedom across the globe.
New CEO Michael Farris
ADF introduces Michael P. Farris as its new President, CEO, and General Counsel. Michael assumes this post as the second ADF CEO, following Alan Sears, who served 23 years as the founding CEO of ADF.
Precedent-Setting Victory for Religious Freedom
In the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the government cannot exclude churches and other faith-based organizations from a secular government program simply because of their religious identity. The victory sets a broad precedent for religious freedom.
UN Resolution on Genocide
After nearly two years of ADF International advocacy, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution supporting Iraq in prosecuting members of ISIS/Daesh for crimes committed against religious minorities in the region by establishing an investigative team to collect and preserve evidence.
Milestone: 400th Win for the ADF Center for Academic Freedom
The ADF Center for Academic Freedom celebrates its 400th victory for freedom since its founding in 2006, changing hundreds of American public university campuses for the better.
June 4, 2018
Victory for Jack!
After nearly six years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court rules 7-2 in favor of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips, who declined to design a custom wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage.
June 26, 2018
Free Speech Win for Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers
In the case of NIFLA v. Becerra, the U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 in favor of free speech, stopping a California law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion.
Milestone: 2,000 Law Students Trained
Blackstone Legal Fellowship surpasses 2,000 Christian law students trained to make a lasting impact on the culture and the legal landscape.
Chief Cochran Gets Justice
After a federal district court struck down a City of Atlanta speech policy that cost former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran his job, the city agrees to pay Chief Cochran a $1.2 million settlement, recognizing that he had suffered unconstitutional harm when he was fired for his faith.
Committed to Victory
“At ADF, there are opportunities for real, generational victories. And if we stand up, speak up, and show up, I believe that we can keep the doors open for the Gospel today—and for future generations.”
ADF President, CEO & General Counsel
When Alan Sears was approached to lead ADF, he wanted to make sure of one thing: Alliance Defending Freedom would be committed to winning. And within only a few short weeks of its launch, ADF was funding a case at the U.S. Supreme Court and captured the first victory of many for religious freedom. True to this commitment . . .
Alliance Defending Freedom is dedicated to victory.