Commuted The death sentence of Dara Singh, convicted with 11 others in the January 22, 1999, murders of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons. The Orissa High Court, saying there is not enough evidence to sustain Singh's execution, gave the Hindu radical a life sentence instead. Additionally, the court acquitted the 11 accomplices.

ElectedRichard H. Bliese, as president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, effective July 1. Bliese, formerly the school's dean of academic affairs, succeeds David L. Tiede, who served in the position for 18 years. The school is the largest in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

AppointedEugene Habecker, formerly president of the American Bible Society, as president of Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. Habecker, a Taylor alumnus, succeeds David J. Gyertson, who announced his resignation to become a professor at Regent University.

AppointedBill Underwood, as interim president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, effective June 1. Underwood, a law professor at the school for 15 years, succeeds Robert Sloan, who announced his resignation in January after months of turmoil and became chancellor. Underwood told CT he wants to "help bring people together, help unite the campus and the alumni base."

DiedBasil Fuleihan, 42, on April 18 in Paris. Fuleihan, the only Protestant evangelical member of Lebanon's Parliament, was wounded during the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri on February 14.

DiedEvelyn Roberts, wife of evangelist Oral Roberts, on May 4, after falling in a parking lot in Newport Beach, California. A trustee of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, she was 88.

ReinstatedIrene "Beth" Stroud, a lesbian, as associate minister at First United Methodist Church in Germantown, Philadelphia. A church panel set aside an earlier ruling to defrock her for violating the denomination's policy on openly practicing homosexual clergy. The panel's ruling will be reviewed by the denomination's Judicial Council later this year. Conservatives expect a reversal.

Related Elsewhere:

CT's India correspondent Manpreet Singh filed a report after Dara Singh's death sentence was commuted.

Luther Seminary has more information about Richard H. Bliese.

Taylor University has more information about Dr. Eugene B. Habecker, including a press release, family information, and lots of video.

Bill Underwood's announcement as interim president at Baylor and his first actions are available from the Baylor website.

CT interviewed leaders of Beirut's Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in who's car Basil Fuleihan was riding. The Praying for Basil weblog has comments from those remembering him.

Oral Roberts Ministries has memorial page for Evelyn Roberts.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church has a collection of news about Irene "Beth" Stroud. Religion News Service has an update: Bishops: Lesbian's win doesn't alter clergy ban | The bishops of the United Methodist Church said the legal victory for a defrocked lesbian minister "does not in any way" change the church's sexuality standards for its clergy. (Religion News Service, May 7, 2005)

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