A structure to embody the spirit of last summer’s Lausanne congress on world evangelization is beginning to take shape. Last month, forty-two of the forty-eight members of the Lausanne Continuation Committee for World Evangelization (LCCWE) met in Mexico City and charted preliminary directions.

There will be a general secretary, an eleven-member executive committee (its first meeting will be in Africa in August), an annual meeting of the LCCWE, and a Consultative Council of about 200 Lausanne participants who will meet every five years or so. Regional committees will seek to implement the Lausanne mandate “to pray, to plan, and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world.” At the same time, the LCCWE members intend to maintain a low profile, eschewing the building of a bureaucracy and keeping budget and staff minimal.

In a keynote address, LCCWE honorary chairman Billy Graham said he believes God has raised up evangelicalism “as a reaffirmation of historic first-century Christianity” in a time of theological defection by liberals and amid dazzling social and political changes worldwide. He noted the rise of Third World mission agencies able to send missionaries to countries where Westerners no longer can go, and he suggested the LCCWE should help the agencies as part of an over-all strategy for reaching the world. Evangelism, he maintained, should be the LCCWE’s paramount concern.

A few members, led by Anglican John R. W. Stott of London, in sometimes lively discussion lobbied for a broader approach, including greater emphasis on social concern. But in the end, the majority seemed agreed that evangelism was an effective glue that could hold everybody together while social issues could be divisive.

Among goals listed by regional caucuses were greater development of cross-cultural missions, regional and national strategies for evangelism, motivation and training of both clergy and laity for evangelism, an information network, coordination of relief agencies, and providing more evangelistic tools. Africans and Asians said biblical theological education needs to be strengthened at all levels, with more scholarships provided. Latin Americans and Europeans were concerned about increasing evangelical influence in the mass media and securing better training facilities in communication. Participants said more full-time evangelists are needed in the Arab world.

The European caucus said it is important to continue the debate begun at Lausanne in such areas as Christianity and culture, evangelism and social action, and renewal of the Church. (Of all the groups at Lausanne, the Europeans may be the least likely to make it in the ongoing cooperative relationship envisioned by the LCCWE. There are already acute differences over inspiration of Scripture, matters of separatism, and the order of priorities on the Church’s agenda.)

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In proposing the establishment of regional committees, the LCCWE in a statement urged its members from each region “to be highly sensitive to all those already existing associations and fellowships which share similar aims and spirit, to seek the largest-hearted measure of cooperation, and to use whatever flexibility is necessary where these may be needed for internal reorganization, structuring and programming in ways which are appropriate to its culture and geared specifically to this task.”

Time was the only news medium that covered the LCCWE deliberations, which were closed to the press. Bernard Diederich, Time’s Mexico City reporter, flushed out the name of the man the LCCWE decided to ask to be general secretary: Gottfried B. Osei-Mensah, 40, pastor of the Nairobi (Kenya) Baptist Church. Committee members wanted to delay disclosure in order to give Osei-Mensah—traveling in Europe at the time—opportunity to respond and meet with his congregation, but Diederich was faced with a tight deadline.

Osei-Mensah, born in Ghana and educated at Birmingham University in England, was once a sales engineer with Mobil Oil in Ghana, became head of the Pan-African Fellowship of Evangelical Students of West Africa in 1966, and accepted the Nairobi pastorate in 1971. He is considered one of the most able evangelicals on the continent.

Selected as LCCWE executive committee members were Bishop Festo Kivengere (Africa), Philip Teng (East Asia), Ramez L. Atallah (West Asia), Armin Hoppler (Europe), Nilson Fanini (Latin America), Thomas Zimmerman (North America), Leighton Ford (North America), Bishop A. Jack Dain (Oceana), John Stott (United Kingdom), Kenneth Chafin (North America), and Osei-Mensah. Dain, who headed the Lausanne congress, was named LCCWE chairman, and Chafin is finance chairman. All were appointed pro tern (to serve until the 1976 meeting) except Osei-Mensah, whose term is for two years.


Some people are carrying the feminism crusade too far. That is the upshot of a reply by Editor Kenneth H. Wood of Review and Herald, the Seventh-day Adventist magazine, to a suggestion in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies that Christians cease using masculine pronouns to refer to God and feminine pronouns for the Church. Jesus was born a man, points out Wood in a January editorial, and he spoke of God as his father. The impact of strong imagery and symbolism in the Scriptures would be destroyed by such a move, Wood warned.

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“In our efforts to do justice to the feminist movement or any other contemporary movement, let us not do injustice to the Word of God,” he exhorts.

Canterbury Enthroned

Amid traditional pomp and colorful ceremony, Donald Coggan, 65, was enthroned last month before a congregation of 3,000 in Canterbury Cathedral as the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury. The service was described as unprecedented in its ecumenical character.

For the first time in 400 years, the Vatican was represented (Cardinal Jan Willebrands, Cardinal Leo Suenens of Malines-Brussels, Cardinal Francis Marty of Paris, and Archbishop Bruno Heim, the papal envoy to England). Twelve black-robed Orthodox patriarchs were there, along with Methodist and assorted Free Church leaders, Quakers, Salvationists, Lutheran bishops from all over Europe, and scores of other church dignitaries. Presiding Bishop John M. Allin of the Episcopal Church was present. Evangelist Billy Graham also attended.

Prime Minister Harold Wilson headed a procession of Parliament members. Scores of Anglican bishops and suffragans (assistants) filed in. A fanfare of trumpets heralded the arrival of the Prince of Wales, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, the Duke of Kent, and other royalty. Another fanfare greeted Coggan, caped in gold.

In a sermon, Coggan called for an end to divisions among Christians and for greater sacrifice to help the world’s deprived people.

Outside, a group of Scottish Baptists demonstrated against the presence of Willebrands, and security forces kept watch against possible attacks by the terrorist Irish Republican Army.

Cueing The Charismatics

A Catholic bishops’ committee last month issued a statement endorsing the “positive and desirable directions” of the so-called Charismatic Renewal movement in the church. The statement, a slightly revised version of a paper released at the U. S. bishops’ meeting in Washington, D. C., in November, cautioned the charismatics to maintain strong ties with the church and clergy.

While acknowledging that some ecumenical “sharing” can be beneficial, the paper warned that “continued or exclusive participation in ecumenical groups runs the risk of diluting the sense of Catholic identity.” It pointed out the need for judgment and discernment on the matter of gifts of the Spirit, such as tongues, prophecies, and healing. Sacrificial Christian love is the greatest authenticating sign of the Holy Spirit, the paper pointed out.

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The document, generally pastoral in tone, is intended to be a guide to clergy and laity alike in evaluating and responding to the rapidly growing neo-Pentecostal movement in the church.

Ideal Family Relationship

President Bernice McNeela of the St. Joan’s International Alliance, an international Catholic women’s organization, protested to Catholic bishops about the traditional Scripture text read at all masses on Holy Family Sunday in December. The text in Colossians 3 includes Paul’s admonition for wives to be in submission to their husbands. A liturgy booklet carries the explanatory note: “Paul outlines ideal family relationships.” The alliance says the reading is anti-feminist and unrealistic in modern times. A better selection would be the mutual-love exhortations of First John 4, said Ms. McNeela.

Breakfast With The President

Ever since 1953 the high and the mighty in Washington, D. C., have been getting together once a year for what is now known as the National Prayer Breakfast.

Some 3,000 persons—representing most members of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Administration, and other top levels of national leadership—gathered in the Washington Hilton hotel on January 30. In a symbolic gesture of identity with the world’s needy, they ate a simple breakfast of porridge instead of the usual lavish fare (paid for by anonymous donors).

In an unusual “call to fellowship,” Evangelist Billy Graham warned that the nation is in a time of “great crisis” and that survival depends on its people turning to God and away from evil ways.

Congressman Albert Quie, a Minnesota Lutheran and the main speaker, called for hope to be placed in Christ and for love to prevail in life. President Ford, introduced by former Oregon Congressman John Dellenback as “a man of faith and a brother Christian,” told how the power of prayer sustains him, and he appealed for prayers for the nation.

In the early days the event was known as the Presidential Prayer Breakfast. The first one, held at the outset of Dwight Eisenhower’s administration, was organized by Eisenhower’s campaign manager, Frank Carlson, a U. S. senator at the time, former Kansas governor, and president of the Washington-based International Christian Leadership (ICL) ministry. (ICL had been founded years earlier by Norwegian immigrant Abraham Vereide, an ordained Methodist.) A big assist came from hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, who owed Carlson a favor. Hilton had wanted to meet Billy Graham, and Carlson had gotten the two together in Denver. Hilton hosted the breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel.

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Officially, the annual breakfast is sponsored by the House and Senate prayer groups (the Senate prayer group was begun the morning after Pearl Harbor was bombed, the House group began in 1943). The real work force behind the event over the years, however, has been ICL, disbanded in 1971 in favor of a loosely structured entity known today as “the Fellowship.”

Every year leaders of the Fellowship and the congressional prayer groups must hassle with several big problems. They want to keep the breakfast profile as low as possible to avoid the show of civil religion, the displeasure of strict church-state separatists, and the corruption of purpose. One way they try to achieve this goal is by banning as much of the press as possible (this year TV coverage was prohibited), irking a lot of reporters.

Those in charge also want to expose to the breakfast’s spiritual impact all the government, business, labor, and other leaders they can get, but seats are at a premium. A lot of church people manage to snag invitations, thanks to the frenzied string-pulling and cajoling that goes on at leadership level. Ministers and other church figures fly in from all over the nation to have breakfast with the President.

The breakfast programs have had increasingly clear-cut evangelical content of late. Last year, former senator Harold Hughes created a near-revival atmosphere with a moving testimony of his conversion and an appeal to turn to God, followed by unprecedented praying aloud at the tables. This year he led in similar praying.

There has been some significant turning to God in post-Watergate Washington. At last month’s meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), Julie Nixon Eisenhower told a women’s group of her own journey of faith. Last January someone invited her to attend a Bible study for congressional wives which she began attending regularly. It was led by Campus Crusade for Christ volunteer Eleanor Page.

“In March I made a decision to accept Christ,” said Mrs. Eisenhower. “It has really changed my life.” She said Christ enabled her to handle better the bitterness and discouragement she experienced often over the past year. At times it’s hard to live the Christian life, she said, but “I know that God loves and accepts me completely.” She called on her listeners to “spread the Word.” It was her first public testimony.

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President Ford himself addressed the NRB. It was his seventh consecutive visit to the annual NRB convention. In introducing him, evangelist Billy Zeoli expressed gratitude for Ford’s “Christian testimony.” Speaking about the First Amendment, Ford got enthusiastic applause when he implied that a national leader has the right to speak up publicly about his faith. He said he subscribes to the separation of church and state clause but doesn’t think it was intended “to separate public morality from public policy.”

He congratulated the broadcasters for beaming into the homes of America “the ageless axioms of divine truth.”

He concluded by quoting Proverbs 3:5, 6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Suddenly somewhat choked, Ford asserted: “That is what I have tried to do, and will try to do, as your President.”


Elevating The Evangelicals

Suffragan (assistant) Bishop of Woolwich David Sheppard, 45, a former British cricket star and founder of a social-welfare ministry to families in London’s East End, was named to the higher Anglican post of bishop of Liverpool. He succeeds another evangelical, Stuart Blanch, who recently became archbishop of York after fellow evangelical Donald Coggan was elevated from York to Canterbury. “We’re taking over the Church of England,” quipped a leader of Britain’s evangelicals.

Sheppard, the church’s youngest diocesan bishop, was widely noted in the 1950s for both his prowess and his Christian witness on the cricket field. Steadfastly refusing to play on Sundays, he left cricket in 1957 to work in urban ministry. He came into new prominence last year for his book about the church’s role in the inner city, Built as a City, acclaimed by many church leaders as the best Christian book of the year.

The Gospel In Creole

Gospel proclamation in Haiti is due a boost this year with the publication of a fresh translation of the new Testament and Psalms in Creole. The complete Old Testament is expected in about three years. (A Catholic version of the New Testament in Creole was recently published in Port-au-Prince.)

Approximately six million persons speak Creole, a sort of pidgin French, making it the fifth-largest language in the Western Hemisphere (after English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French). As many as 90 per cent of the five million Haitians may speak it, even though French has remained the nation’s official language since the country attained its independence in 1804 and became the second republic in the hemisphere. Comparatively few people understand much French.

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Voodoo folk religion constitutes the main belief of most of the people of Haiti. Roman Catholicism, however, has been the predominant formal religion, and many Haitians practice a blend of the two. The Catholics used Latin in church services until Vatican II, and the old Protestant denominations that came into the country in the 1800s used French, thereby becoming identified with the elite classes of the towns. Evangelical missionaries entering Haiti later went into rural areas where the vast majority of the people—Creole and peasant—live. These missionaries naturally began to preach in Creole and helped to make it a respectable language for church worship. Today the West Indies Mission’s Radio Lumiere and the Oriental Missionary Society’s 4VEH cover the country with several hours a day of Creole broadcasting.

Professor Marlin Jeschke of Goshen College recently returned from Haiti, where he made a study of the survival of the African religious tradition. He says the Laubach literacy program and rising national consciousness have also helped to redeem Creole. “Even the government and older churches are joining the trend,” he says. “Parliamentary discussion in Creole is now acceptable, and court cases can proceed in Creole. One Catholic church holds a creative Creole folk mass, and the Anglican cathedral in Port-au-Prince has gone to Creole for its Sunday-evening service.”

Earlier translations of Scripture in Creole were welcomed by the people and well used, but the new translation is said to use techniques that are able to reflect much more of the Creole potential. The translating was coordinated by Anglican clergyman Roger Desir, who is also compiling a Creole dictionary, and publication is being sponsored by the United Bible Societies, the London-based umbrella organization of various national Bible societies.

“The story of Haiti’s Creole Bible sounds like some old chapters out of our history,” notes Jeschke. “Once Latin was the official language of Western Europe, and German, French, and English were just oral languages. In all these cases some man of courage took the first step to make a literary language out of an oral one. Haiti is at this linguistic juncture now.”

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He predicts that the new Creole Bible will make a cultural impact in standardizing a written Creole, much as Luther’s Bible did for German and Tyndale’s for English. “Best of all,” he adds, “this Creole Bible will bring the Christian faith into the everyday life of many Haitians.”


The film The Exorcist was not submitted to South African censors because they “would have died on the spot,” a Johannesburg court was told in an unrelated case.

Too Much Too Soon?

Nearly 100 delegates representing sixteen denominations with a total membership of 7.5 million were on hand for last month’s annual meeting of the North American Area Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, held at Montreal. The body is a loosely structured association of Presbyterian, Reformed, and Congregational churches in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.

As last year, the delegates agreed to make as a matter of continuing concern “the possibility of forming a transnational Reformed Church in North America.” Yet they turned down as “premature” a motion to ask member churches to explore the union possibility. The vote was taken after a lengthy debate on the proposal to form a new church that would be “more ethnically, economically, and racially inclusive than any of the member churches.”

In other action, the delegates called for an investigation of alleged involvement in Chile by the Central Intelligence Agency, for amnesty for Korean clergymen and laypersons imprisoned on political charges, and for democratic reforms in Korea.

The council’s theological committee presented papers on the theological basis of human rights and on the theology of liberation. Major points in these pages will be discussed at the 1977 world meeting of the alliance.

Pastor Arthur R. McKay of the Knox United Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati was elected chairman of the Council. President James I. McCord of Princeton Seminary continues as general secretary.

Celluloid Champs

The Exorcist, the controversial movie about demon possession, holds fifth place among the “all-time box office champion films,” according to an annual tabulation by Variety, the show-business paper. Released in late 1973, it had produced $66.3 million in rentals by the end of 1974, the paper said.

The Godfather leads the list with rental income of $85.7 million, followed by The Sound of Music, Gone With the Wind, and The Sting, which won the Academy award as best picture of 1974 and drew 68.4 million.

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Profits For Propagation

Arab oil money is being used for a lot of purposes—including the propagation of Islam. Some black Africans are concerned. They say their Arab neighbors in the north live in Africa but don’t really have African interests at heart. Arab government policies are determined in light of what is good for the league of Arab nations, not what is good for the rest of Africa, say the black leaders.

These leaders point to the obvious export of Islam by Libya into black countries. One leader asserted to Catholic reporter Floyd Anderson that Libya “bought” Uganda’s president Idi Amin, a Muslim who is turning his nation into an Islamic state. (Nearly half of Uganda’s people are Protestants and Catholics; less than 10 per cent are Muslims.) Also, Saudi Arabia donated $2 million to Uganda for the spread of Islam.

Islam is being pushed vigorously in the five former French colonies of West Africa: Niger, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, and Dahomey, notes Anderson. Arabs have established a powerful radio station in Niger and are funding the teaching of the Koran in schools, pilgrimages to Mecca, the building of mosques, cultural programs with Islamic trappings, and the like. The French are partially to blame, observes Anderson; they promoted Islam because they found it was easier to govern Muslims.

Arabs have been known to buttonhole black political leaders with the suggestion that Muslims unwaveringly follow their leaders and therefore are easy to rule, while Christians tend to be independent thinkers, hence are too democratic and difficult to govern. The point is clear: if Islam is promoted and made the state religion, political leaders reap the rewards of greater power. It is a suggestion not lightly dismissed in black Africa.

Saved By The Book

Drug-store security guard Louie D. Hairston of Washington, D. C., believes the New Testament is good for body and soul. A masked bandit recently lunged at him with a foot-long butcher’s knife. The New Testament Hairston carries in his breast pocket for sparetime reading absorbed what otherwise could have been a fatal thrust, and in the ensuing struggle the assailant was slain.

“He would have killed me except for the Bible,” remarked Hairston, noting that the knife had severed the hardback cover of the volume. He said the life of a police officer in the town where he grew up had been saved from a bullet the same way. “I’ve never forgotten that,” he stated.

Pressing On

Black clergyman James E. Newman, pastor of St. Peter’s Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas, for the past forty years or so, recently celebrated his 101st birthday. “I’ll stay as long as I am able,” he told well-wishers at a reception, adding he felt “just the same as I did when I was 25.” He voiced thanks to God “for the privilege of being here this long.”

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Religion In Transit

The U. S. Supreme Court let stand a Missouri court ruling that denied the loan of textbooks to children attending church-related schools.

A recent Gallup Poll shows 56 per cent of the American people believe religion is losing its influence on society, down from 75 per cent in 1970. Conversely, 31 per cent think religion is gaining ground; only 14 per cent thought so in 1970. The poll also shows Bible reading up: 63 per cent read the Scriptures weekly, compared to 61 per cent in 1970. Gallup says 1957 was the peak year for faith in the power of religion: 81 per cent that year felt religion could provide the answer to the problems facing society.

An NBC television special on Jonathan Edwards, the prominent early American preacher and theologian, was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, February 16. It was produced in cooperation with the National Council of Churches’ Broadcasting and Film Commission.

Mary Ely Lyman, the first woman to hold a full professorship at New York’s Union Seminary, died in Claremont, California, at the age of 87.

Among resolutions approved last month by some 300 ordained United Methodist women were ones asking for the election of three female bishops in 1976 and the appointment of ten women as district superintendents, for half the seminary presidents eventually to be women, for paid maternity and paternity leaves, and for a denominational study of homosexuality, with a gay woman as a member of the study group.

Approximately $1 million was contributed last year to denominational programs and agencies of the fledgling Presbyterian Church in America. More than half was for its world mission program.

Because of escalating costs and other uncertainties, a Lutheran Church in America management committee has asked the nine LCA seminaries not to construct any new facilities this year and to avoid deficit financing of budgets.

President Ford has nominated CBS radio commentator Mark Evans Austad, an executive of Metromedia and an active Mormon who served a three-year stint as a missionary to Finland, to be ambassador to Finland.

The first U. S. soldier permitted to wear a Hindu headdress, Private Hari Nam Singh Elliott, 23, received honors as “best recruit” in his basic-training unit. He was allowed to keep his long red beard as well as his turban and to wear religious jewelry.

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Muhammad Kenyatta, head of the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Economic Development Conference (guiding force behind the Black Manifesto), says he will run for mayor.

The University of Minnesota student daily notes a “definite renewal of student interest in religion” on campus. Attendance is up at services at Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish student centers, says the paper.

The Mennonite Central Committee asked Manitoba’s provincial government to guarantee the rights of persons opposed to membership in labor unions for reasons of conscience. The law allows such exclusion from membership, says the MCC, but the provincial Labor Board has been turning down all applications for exemption, including those of several Mennonites.

In a rare joint session in California, regional groups of Conservative and Reform rabbis appealed to Israeli officials for recognition of their counterparts in Israel, where only the Orthodox have legal status. Israeli Orthodox leaders generally “have been destroyers of Judaism, not builders,” confining the nation’s three million Jews to a “stultified” Judaism, complained Rabbi Joseph Glazer, executive vice-president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform).

The 500,000-member B’nai B’rith Jewish service agency will have a 1975 budget of $20.3 million, representing the first reduction since the Depression. The agency sponsors centers for Jewish faculty and students on 326 college campuses, a teen-age youth movement of 40,000 in 1,400 chapters, professional counseling services, and the Anti-Defamation League.

The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Holt International Children’s Services of Eugene, Oregon, will merge their child-welfare services in Korea. Holt has placed nearly 16,000 children in adoptive homes outside Korea; the Reformed group has placed 2,000 within Korea. Both have provided other care and counseling services.

“Maude” and “All in the Family” led the list of “permissive” programs noted by 7,000 persons responding to a National Association of Evangelicals questionnaire on the moral tone of television. “The Waltons” and “Apple’s Way” were cited as most “commendable.” All four are CBS programs.

With a budget allocation of $38,500, the Boston-headquartered Unitarian Universalist Association opened an Office of Gay Concerns. It is the first U. S. denomination to set up a national office to deal with homosexual matters. Ms. Arlie Scott, a leader in the National Organization for Women, was named director.

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Government studies show that private elementary and secondary schools (most of them church-related) educate 4.87 million of the nation’s 50.5 million school children.

Centennial celebration:Canadian Churchman, award-winning monthly of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Food for the Hungry in Los Angeles, the World Concern division of King’s Garden in Seattle, and the Mercy Airlift division of World Gospel Crusades in Upland, California, have formed an immediate-response disaster relief service known as International HELP.

The 297,000-member Church of God denomination based in Cleveland, Tennessee, will open a seminary this fall with educator R. Hollis Gause as director.

A University of Maryland poll shows that freshman students make significantly more use of all illegal drugs except mescaline and heroin than their counterparts two years ago, but continued-use rates have remained constant over several years. Some 93 per cent reported using alcohol, most of them regularly.

A record $8.8 billion in taxes was collected from the sale of alcoholic beverages in 1973, nearly $550 million more than in the preceding year.

The U. S. government, under an Agency for International Development (AID) grant, awarded $425,000 to CODEL (Coordination in Development), a consortium of fifty Catholic and Protestant mission societies and other church-related organizations. Most CODEL agencies are Catholic.

World Relief Commission, the overseas aid agency of the National Association of Evangelicals, has released Honduras … Aftermath of Hurricane Fifi, a documentary motion picture produced by the same team that did the award-winning Africa: Dry Edge of Disaster.

Officials of the French Baptist Federation have invited evangelist W. H. “Dub” Jackson and his Dallas-based World Evangelism Foundation to return to France with more teams this fall. In November, some 350 Americans—twenty WEF teams of lay evangelists, two choirs, and several name personalities—ministered at their own expense for a week in twenty French Baptist churches. Four hundred decisions, many of them recommitments, were recorded.

The international headquarters of the 74,000-member Pentecostal Holiness Church has been moved from Georgia to a $3 million facility in Oklahoma City.


Martin Luther King, Sr., 75, will retire in August as pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. He will be succeeded by Joseph L. Roberts, Jr., 39, who grew up in the African Methodist Episcopal Church but was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church. Roberts, a social-action administrator for the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. (Southern), was rebaptized by immersion in early January in order to meet a Baptist requirement.

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David G. Henritzy, an administrator of a Methodist retirement home, was named director of the 96-year-old Bowery Mission on New York’s East Side, succeeding J. Wilson Lockwood, who died in November.

John Stapert, a field executive of the Reformed Church in America, was named to succeed Louis H. Benes as editor of the Church Herald, the RCA’s fortnightly. Benes retired after twenty-nine years on the job.

Missionary Ronald Wiebe was appointed general director of the Andes Evangelical Mission, succeeding Joseph S. McCullough, who served eighteen years in the post.

George Morrison, 61, chief administrative officer of the United Church of Canada, will leave that post to become senior minister next September of the 3,500-member Timothy Eaton Memorial United Church in Toronto, the UCC’s largest and wealthiest congregation. He will succeed C. Andrew Lawson, who is retiring in June.

Pastor Lewis Palmer Young of the Gardenside Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, a past president of the North American Christian Convention, was named to succeed the retiring J. L. Lusby as president of the fifty-five-year-old Kentucky Christian College.

World Scene

More than 1,000 decisions for Christ were registered in the north India state of Uttar Pradesh during Operation Mobilization’s Reach Up ’74 campaign, an impressive figure for this predominantly Hindu area.

Without disclosing figures, the Vatican revealed that Pope Paul rejected the 1975 budget as too costly and appointed experts to guide cutbacks in expenses. The Vatican has been hit hard by inflation and by a multi-million-dollar loss in the collapse of an Italian banking empire.

Jews number 14.1 million world-wide, according to the latest American Jewish Year Book. The United States leads with 5.7 million (nearly half of them in New York City), Israel is next with 2.8 million, and the Soviet Union is third with 2.6 million.

The recent Vatican document on Jewish-CathoIic relations continues to attract mixed reaction. Both chief rabbis in Israel gave it bad marks, but it drew qualified praise from some Protestant leaders and from some Jews abroad.

Hungarian children under age 12 are now permitted to receive religious instruction twice a week, according to a Catholic announcement.

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A principal of a Catholic school in Santiago, Chile, reports a resurgence of faith among Catholics now that the controls placed upon religion and the schools by Allende’s regime have been lifted. Bible-study groups, Communion services, and spiritual-life retreats are experiencing record attendance, she says.

Some 140 delegates representing nine member churches with more than sixty congregations attended the twenty-sixth general assembly of the Cuban Council of Evangelical Churches. Presbyterian Raul Fernandez was reelected chairman. Discussions centered on theological issues, liberation, the Gospel and the struggle for justice, violence and nonviolence, and the upcoming World Council of Churches meeting in Nairobi. Protestants—some 160,000 of them—make up about 2 per cent of Cuba’s population.

Evangelist Luis Palau reports that the Catholic archbishop of Lima, Peru, recently sponsored the distribution of more than 500,000 copies of the New Testament to school children and military personnel in the area. In Bolivia,The Living Bible is planned for use as a textbook in all government schools for the next three years, says Palau.

Catholic authorities have ordered an investigation into the death of Bishop Robert Tort, 56, of Montauban, France, who apparently died of a heart attack in a Paris brothel. The officials are still smarting from accusations of cover-up in connection with the coronary death last year of Jesuit cardinal Jean Daniélou, 69, in the apartment of a young dancer.

Abortion became legal in France last month under a controversial law permitting abortion on demand during the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

Prominent layman Yap Thiam Hien, chairman of the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Fund for Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Indonesia, was released from prison after serving nearly a year under an anti-subversion law. He had been arrested during a demonstration against Prime Minister Tanaka of Japan.

After a ten-year struggle, the Anglican Cathedral of All Saints in Cairo has been closed and is being razed to make room for a new bridge to span the Nile.

Robert Mackey, British secretary of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, will succeed Leonard Moules as the WEC’s international secretary.

Like the old constitution, Red China’s new one speaks of the freedom to “believe in religion” but says nothing of the rights associated with religious practice. Atheists are given the right to propagate their beliefs; Christians are not.

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Some 10,000 Nigerian Christians are expected to attend a national congress on evangelism in August. Of Nigeria’s 59.4 million people, 43 per cent are listed an animists, 38 per cent as Muslims, and 19 per cent as Christians.

The government of South Africa last month expropriated the property of the 150-student Federal Seminary in Alice, an ecumenical school for training non-white clergy. Reason given: to expand a nearby university. Church leaders in Europe and South Africa are protesting. Other land is available for the university, they say. “Once again black people are being pushed around by white people who have power,” complained Anglican archbishop B. B. Burnett of Capetown.

President K. Narayan Nambudripad of the Evangelical Union of Students of India, a board member of the Emmanuel Hospital Association of India, is the first Indian director of the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana in North India. The hospital is a cooperative missionary endeavor.

Evangelical churches in Spain will now be able to own their own properties and will not have to pay the large fees and taxes usually required in title transfers, according to a new government policy.

Well-known British churchman Kenneth Slack, a Presbyterian cleric and former executive head of the British Council of Churches, will become director of Christian Aid, the BCC relief arm, which handles about $10 million a year in overseas aid.

The fifteen theological training schools operated in Nigeria by Sudan Interior Mission and the SIM-related Evangelical Churches of West Africa graduated 256 men and women last year. The schools employ fifty-two Nigerian teachers and twenty-six missionaries.

The Methodist hospital in Ilesha, Nigeria, with a staff of 350 and serving 700 patients a day, is bankrupt and in danger of closing, according to an emergency appeal. Meanwhile, a medical-workers union called on the government to take over all mission hospitals, in part to ensure job security.


HENRY SMITH LEIPER, 83, Congregational (United Church of Christ) clergyman and former executive of the World Council of Churches, which he helped to found; in New York.

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