Never before in the twenty-year history of the National Council of Churches of Christ had there been a triennial assembly like the one in Detroit last month (see December 19 issue, page 30). The dust (or more precisely, paint) had hardly settled before the council’s general board faced another identity crisis.
Responding to a revolt of angry women, minority militants, and radical youths during the assembly the previous five days, the policy-making general board the following day rejected nominations for twenty-five key council posts because the slate did not offer enough blacks. And then the board turned out the fifteen-man nominating committee itself, including Episcopal lay chairman Peter Day, who pleaded that his committee had done the best it could.
Sensing the tide, Disciples of Christ executive George G. Beazley, Jr., who had been tabbed to head the new nominating committee, quickly withdrew.
The general board was suddenly faced with no approved nominations—and no nominating committee. A scant quorum was present and adjournment time was one hour away.
Newly elected president Mrs. Cynthia Wedel saved the day (but not Peter Day) by hastily asking an ad hoc committee to name a new nominating committee that would in turn revise the slate by this month’s general board meeting in Tulsa.
In what Washington Post religion writer William MacKaye called “a sweeping repudiation of the council’s older generation,” the committee retained only six members of the original Day nominating group and appointed a black Methodist woman, Miss Theressa Hoover, chairman of the new group. She is general secretary of the United Methodist women’s division. With her are three other women, six Negroes, three young persons, and one Spanish-American.
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