MICHAEL GLODO, 42, has been elected as stated clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church's General Assembly. He succeeds Edward Davis, 61, who is retiring after 20 years as the church body's chief executive officer. The denomination, formed in 1981, has 197 congregations and membership of 64,000.

JAY SCOTT BALLINGER, an Indiana resident, has pleaded guilty to setting 26 church fires in 1995–99. Ballinger, 38, entered his guilty plea in federal court in Indianapolis, according to the U.S. Justice Department, which recommended that he receive a prison sentence of more than 42 years. Ballinger "frequently expressed his hostility toward organized Christianity, signed individuals he met to contracts with the devil and termed himself a missionary of Lucifer," a Justice Department release said. He pleaded guilty to starting fires at churches in Alabama, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. His plea "represents the largest number of fires charged to any single defendant" since President Clinton created the National Church Arson Task Force in June 1996.

WILLIAM R. ESTEP, 80, one of the most prominent church historians in Southern Baptist life, died July 15. All told, Estep wrote or edited 21 books and served on the faculty of Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, from 1954 to 1990, when he retired.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, engraved on a stone monument, may not be placed on the grounds of Kentucky's Capitol, according to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit after the Kentucky General Assembly approved erecting the monument on the Capitol grounds. A similar case in Indiana remains in federal courts.

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September 4, 2000

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