A Question Of Audit

Six members seeking a court-ordered financial audit were expelled from the 4,000-member First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, last month. The court subsequently dismissed their suit against the church, ruling that since they were no longer members of the church they could not bring legal action against it. The court had initially restrained the pastor, the Rev. Homer G. Ritchie, from expelling the six. To avert defiance charges, Ritchie had his twin-brother associate conduct the congregational meeting in which they were removed from the rolls. The 36-year-old pastor previously was involved in controversies over his divorce from his first wife in 1959 and his remarriage this year to a 22-year-old member of his congregation. The church is affiliated with the Bible Baptist Fellowship.

Protestant Panorama

A plan for merging the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren churches was adopted last month at the close of a two-day meeting of the commissions on church union representing the two denominations. The plan suggests calling the merged denomination “The United Methodist Church.” Consummation of the union cannot take place before 1968. Current U. S. Methodist membership is 10,234,986, while the EUB number 761,754.

A dedication service and cornerstone laying marked the opening of a new Southern Baptist college in Houston, Texas. The Houston Baptist College begins its first year with a faculty of thirty-one and about 400 students, on a 200-acre campus in the southwest section of the city.

The Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church is assigning its first overseas missionary. He is the Rev. Hiroshi Fujii, who with his wife and two children will be stationed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they will serve among people ...

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