Asbury College president Dr. Dennis F. Kinlaw wonders if the revival that erupted on campus in tiny Wilmore, Kentucky, marks the reawakening of an evangelical missionary spirit that will spread around the world.

In an interview Dr. Kinlaw said he planned to tell Asbury’s 1,000 students during a chapel period that a group of collegians in England, known as the “Cambridge Seven,” began 100 years ago what became “the biggest evangelical missionary thrust that the world has ever known.” He said the Cambridge Seven included such missionary giants as C. T. Studd and Stanley Smith.

In the succeeding decades, though, there was a shift in the missionary movement, Dr. Kinlaw noted. “The leadership became liberal and non-evangelical,” more concerned with “humanitarian and do-good projects” than spreading the Gospel.

“I wonder,” he said, “if God is ready to raise up the authentic thing again? It will take some time before we know.”

Kinlaw said that “God has taken the initiative” in the Asbury revival. “We were not seeking this in faith.” He described the revival as a “student phenomenon,” although adults were involved. The revival “has given me a far greater sense of divine sovereignty,” he said. “God obviously isn’t dead or indifferent. He has begun to move.”

The “witnessing” revival broke out during a regular morning chapel period February 3 and ran non-stop for 185 hours, closing down classes for a week. It was continuing with nightly services in the school’s chapel two weeks after classes had been resumed. Some testimonies have traced the genesis of the revival to a week of special meetings last January at Wilmore’s First United Methodist Church. On the concluding evening, soloist Doug Oldham told how for eleven years he had been a “professional religionist” specializing in church music. His home “fell apart,” the Church of God minister said, until he had a conversion experience that changed him and his home. Now he holds services 300 nights each year.

When Oldham concluded his testimony, so many others spoke that the sermon had to be omitted.

Since early February, hundreds of Asbury students have appeared in colleges and churches in twenty states and Canada to talk about their revival experiences. The teams travel at the request and expense of the host groups.

“We’re still getting a lot of calls for students,” Academic Dean Chester Reynolds reported. “We can’t fill them all. We had 600 students off last weekend and will have another 600 on the road next weekend.”

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Dean Reynolds said the nightly services are not as crowded as before. The worshipers average perhaps 100 in number. The doors to the chapel remain open around the clock, however. Students trickle in and out at all hours of the day and night. Some pray for a minute, then walk away. Some cry. Some sit and meditate.

“The spectacular is over, but a wonderful spirit continues among the students and townspeople,” said the Reverend David Seamonds, pastor of Wilmore United Methodist Church. “The students have been picking each other up—those that may fall back into old ways … Many of the more hippie types, some of whom have been on drugs, are meeting for Bible study, sometimes in the place where before they were doping.”

Although the hurry-up of college life has resumed at Asbury—there are classes to rush to, books to hit, and finals to study for—everyone talks about the week that was and what it means to him.

“The revival changed my life,” said 20-year-old Mark Davis, a senior whose parents are missionaries in Africa. “I was a stagnant Christian before. Now I like to read the Bible, and my prayer life is revitalized, and I can really love people. And I’m not ashamed to talk about it.”

Possibly the highlight of the revival was a worldwide radio program in which Billy Graham, used the Asbury revival as the basis for his thirty-minute sermon. “It is my prayer,” the evangelist said, “that Christians throughout the world will be praying that the spiritual refreshment which started at Asbury College in Kentucky will sweep from campus to campus and from city to city.”

Among revival-swept campuses:

• Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. In events reminiscent of the revival of 1950, students spoke around the clock when Dr. Raymond Ortland asked for testimonies before he preached. Ortland, the pastor of Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena, California, was on campus for the annual Spiritual Emphasis Week.

President Hudson T. Armerding reflected that “the freedom, openness, and honesty that characterized these days clearly were the work of the Holy Spirit in response to much prayer and heart hunger.” Earlier, some students had set up a prayer chain involving some ninety-six people.

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• Trevecca Nazarene College, Nashville, Tennessee. Several weeks before the Asbury revival, Trevecca students had begun small prayer groups that went nearly unnoticed by faculty and administration. After Trevecca students heard testimonies of Asbury students in area churches on February 8, the underground movement broke into view. Monday’s chapel began a marathon testimony period involving townspeople as well as board members on campus for annual meetings. Since then, Trevecca students have visited fourteen secular colleges and universities in Nashville.

• Taylor University, Upland, Indiana. Last year, February 5, 1970, was set aside for a Day of Prayer. When the day came, students responded beyond faculty expectations; the concluding service was marked by confession, conviction, and consecration.

The following Sunday evening, Decision magazine’s Sherwood E. Wirt was to preach, but his plane was delayed, and the time was given instead to testimonies. It was a “tremendous outpouring” of the Holy Spirit, says college pastor Peter Pascoe. A week later Asbury students visited the campus.

• Spring Arbor College, Spring Arbor, Michigan. Graduates now attending Asbury Seminary came back February 8 and 9 to describe their revival. The result: the usual forty-five-minute chapel lasted five hours; several prayer groups began. Even before that, said an administrator, students had been doing some “very serious thinking” about their faith; the news from Asbury provided the “spark” they needed.

• Houghton College, Houghton, New York. The Reverend Paris Reid head, on campus for a week of special meetings, challenged students to lives of service in “a world of crisis.” When Asbury students arrived at mid-week to report their experiences, Houghton was ready. Testimonies, confession, and prayer lasted well into the night.

• Azusa Pacific College, Azusa, California. At chapel February 6, an Asbury student’s description of the Kentucky revival drew immediate response from more than 150 students. Afternoon classes were canceled so students and faculty could pray, sing, and testify for seven hours. Weekend visits to home churches sparked revivals there. On Monday, afternoon classes were again canceled to make time for reports, confession, and testimonies.

• Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma. “We had a fabulous service Friday,” exclaimed a sophomore about the eight-hour chapel service and the prayer meeting that went till 1:00 A.M. after Asbury students gave their testimonies. On Saturday morning, students gathered for a communion service; that evening they prayed again. It “changed the complexion of the campus,” she added. “Bad feelings” toward faculty and administration turned to love.

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• Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois. “The Holy Spirit has brought a great awakening to Greenville,” reported Professor Frank Thompson. “The quickening began in the college, and burst forth under the ministry of witnesses from Asbury College. It continued in night-and-day-long scenes of prayer, praise, waiting, witnessing, singing, and exhortation in the college church and across the campus.”

• Northern Baptist Seminary, Chicago. Illinois. At the request of some seminarians, two Asbury students spoke on February 23 to seminarians, professors, and area pastors, who filled the auditorium. At the close, Dr. Robert Meye, professor of New Testament and theology, wished aloud that the seminary community could know more fully the love of Christ. Two hours of testimonies and prayer followed, leaving participants, according to middler Bob Laurent, “more turned on to Christ than ever.” They also got turned on to community needs, particularly those of drug addicts in an area where addiction is the highest in the nation.

• Fort Wayne Bible College, Fort Wayne, Indiana. When the chapel speaker for February 24 canceled at the last minute, President Wesley Gerig called for student testimonies. They lasted till 5:00 that afternoon. Some students waited in line two hours to confess cheating, hatefulness, indulging in worldly practices, and criticism of campus food. Students are accepted at Fort Wayne on the basis of their profession of faith, an administration official noted, so the day was more “kids getting honest with themselves and the Holy Spirit” than experiencing conversion. One student confirmed: “I’ve been here three years, and it’s about time I got straightened out.”

Asked why young people are getting “straightened out” now, Fort Wayne’s Grant Hoatson replied, “They’re tired of sham.” Many churches, he added, offer them “little to cling to in a world falling apart spiritually when they are looking for something solid.”

At some colleges they seem to be finding it. Yet not all the campuses Asbury students have visited have burst into revival flame. At Malone College in Canton, Ohio, for example, the response was a flicker of interest among a few students who attended a voluntary chapel meeting and gathered in the student lounge for a sharing session. And they, noted the college pastor, were mostly “Wesleyan-oriented.”

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Interestingly, many colleges where the revival burned brightest have a Wesleyan (Asbury, Azusa Pacific, Houghton, Taylor) or Free Methodist (Greenville, Spring Arbor) heritage. They, along with some Nazarene colleges, may have lighted the torch, but its sparks are also falling on Baptist, Presbyterian, and other churches. Fanned by prayer, these sparks may yet ignite in a holy conflagration.


The Church In The Courts

“The primary battleground for the maintenance of church-state separation is in the school,” says Joseph B. Robison, general counsel of the American Jewish Congress. A survey taken by the congress bears this out: of the fifty-five cases affecting religious freedom or separation of church and state currently awaiting decision in federal and state courts, half involve the nation’s schools.

The report, made public last month, said that twenty-one of the twenty-seven cases involving schools concern the permissible extent of governmental aid to religiously affiliated schools; five involve religious (or anti-religious) practices in public schools and colleges; and one involves the violation of compulsory attendance laws for religious reasons.

A case that challenges direct aid to non-public schools in Pennsylvania through a “purchase of services formula, is due to be appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court. A suit in Connecticut challenging the application of the 1963 Federal Higher Education Facilities Act to sectarian colleges also may reach the nation’s highest tribunal within a few weeks.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule any day on the Walz case, which seeks to tax church property. It has also agreed to review two cases involving conscientious objectors.

Where Have All The Missionaries Gone?

Before the Nigerian civil war, more than one hundred Roman Catholic missionaries served in the Biafra region. What has become of them since the end of the fighting has been the confused subject of conflicting reports.

A report from Lagos early last month indicated that sixty priests and nuns were being held in Biafra. Nigerian officials called the Catholics “Trojan horses” proselytizing under the pretense of doing relief work. Those detained included Bishop Joseph Whelan of Owerri, who had served in Nigeria for twenty-five years. He, like most of the missionaries, is a native of Ireland, and there was vigorous protest from the Irish government over the arrests.

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The missionaries were tried in Port Harcourt and sentenced to prison terms or fined for entering Nigeria illegally. Then, in what the Nigerian government called “an act of clemency” and “further evidence of the magnanimity of the federal government toward the former secessionists and all those involved in their activities,” thirty-two were deported to Geneva, Switzerland.

There many of the missionaries expressed their desire to return. “We … hope that when the immediate postwar period is over we will be able to return to work … among the Nigerian people, whom we love,” said Father John Daily.

Father Leo Horkin, the only American-born missionary in the group, observed, “We all had our credentials from the old Biafran government, and technically that government was never recognized and technically we broke the law. But we really had no choice.”

Now that missionaries have been arrested, said another priest, “the Nigerian Red Cross has no idea where to find the first-aid centers and hospitals which are scattered in the bush.” The Nigerian government is trying hard to provide aid, said Father Frank Mullan, “but the relief assistance is very slow.”

Nearly two weeks later, twenty-nine missionaries were still being held in Port Harcourt despite efforts of the Irish embassy in Lagos to obtain their release. Although the group, including Bishop Whelan and an American-born nun had paid $6,500 in fines (with money from Catholic authorities in Lagos), police tried to imprison them, But the missionaries sat firm—in the street—until they were taken to a school building where they were held under guard. A few days later they were allowed to leave for Rome and London.

Reports suggest that a third group of thirty missionaries still working in the former Biafra region may face arrest.


Dutch Back Israel

The rejection of the State of Israel indirectly is a rejection of God himself, the Netherlands Reformed Church said in a report on the theological meaning of the State of Israel meant to draw worldwide attention. In August, 1968, Dutch delegates had asked the fourth assembly of the World Council of Churches to undertake a study of the subject. The assembly refused, and the Dutch church decided to take on the project itself.

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“Christians should back Israel,” the report says, but not because of its historical rights or because of decisions of the United Nations. “Our acceptance in the end is based upon the fact that we see God’s gracious dealings with it in its return to Palestine.” The Netherlands Reformed Church contends that Israel still is God’s chosen people, and that the rejection of Jesus wasn’t an absolute turning point in Jewish history.

But the church also warns Israel that nationalism shows a rejection of Israel’s high calling and a failure to appreciate the unique place God has given this people.


Trouble With The Fair …

For months youthful protesters have been trying to block church participation in East Asia’s most talked-about ecumenical project in years. But the $400,000 Christian Pavilion at Expo 70 has been completed, furnished, and largely paid for. Opening ceremonies were scheduled for March 5. Gates to the world fair—largest in history—will open to the public at the Osaka site March 15.

The Christian Pavilion represents one of the first major endeavors ever sponsored by representatives from every segment of Japan’s Christian community—liberal and evangelical Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox churchmen. Its stated aim: To present a united portrayal of the “contribution of the Christian faith to the progress and harmony of mankind” (see October 10, 1969, issue, page 51).

Troubles over the pavilion, which have rocked Japanese Protestantism for a year, center in the Kyodan (Japan’s United Church of Christ), a 200,000-member denomination formed by the union of several of the nation’s largest churches just before World War II. Membership in the Kyodan includes one-third of Japan’s Protestants.

Claiming that the pavilion would give tacit religious support to a materialistic “festival of Baal” (the fair), nearly one hundred seminarians and young pastors began their attack last spring by disrupting—and then stopping—the annual assemblies of three Kyodan districts.

The activists claimed Expo 70 would divert public attention from rightful opposition to the “militaristic Japan-United States security treaty,” and they said pavilion money would be better spent on housing and welfare programs. The protesters also asserted the pavilion would corrupt the “true Christian concept” of evangelism.

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Protests took the form of coercion, church-meeting take-overs, and the grilling of pavilion supporters through nightlong interrogation sessions. Two leading pastors collapsed under the strain and had to be hospitalized. When a Kyoto pastor’s answers to questions on the pavilion were “unsatisfactory” to students who interrupted the minister’s church service, they publicly ripped off his robe. An extraordinary Kyodan assembly in Tokyo was interrupted by eighty activists who used bullhorns to dominate the two-day session.

To most observers, the real complaint appears to be more than the pavilion. Underneath, there is a serious churchly generation gap.

What the students really object to is an “oppressive lethargy and rigidity” in Kyodan structures. Many regard the Kyodan as too stodgy socially and evangelistically. And younger men are particularly frustrated by the refusal of many senior clergymen (most are in their fifties and sixties) to accept the Kyodan’s 1968 confession of guilt for World War II.

Some say the dispute will lead to structural reform—and a “new birth” within the church. Others are pessimistic about healing of the rupture.

Meanwhile, Protestants involved in the pavilion faced a new, embarrassing problem three weeks before opening day. Expo 70 maps list the Christian structure as “The Vatican State Pavilion.”

Officials explained that registering the project as a state (rather than a private) exhibit saved considerable money. No one seems quite sure how visitors will react to that explanation—if they hear it.


Swiss Miss

A Swiss Christian, Helen Sonderegger of Winterthur, wasn’t allowed to disembark from her ship when she arrived in Haifa, Israel, for her fifth visit.

Police prevented her from coming ashore on grounds that she had engaged in missionary activities on previous visits and intended to continue. Miss Sonderegger said she wanted to explain to the Jewish people that they were wrong in believing that Christians hated them or blamed them for causing the death of Jesus.

She admitted wanting to “persuade” people about Christianity but said she was not a missionary. She had planned to work in a children’s institution as a handcraft teacher, she said, and was not sponsored by any missionary organization.

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Bahai In Black Africa: A Force To Contend With

Madame Mary Rabbani, widow of the late world head of the Bahai faith, is currently on an Africa-wide tour, preaching world peace and understanding. When she gets to Uganda, Madame Rabbani will be greeted by far happier statistics (and far less public fanfare) than those that greeted the Pope last August, for Bahai, one of the world’s youngest faiths, is the fastest-growing religion in Uganda.

The only Bahai temple in Africa, and one of the five around the world, stands impressively on a hilltop just outside Kampala; from here “pioneers” are sent to all parts of Africa to share the faith. The Bahai have no clergy; the faith is spread by all members as part of a complex of “sacred duty.”

Bahai teaches that the savior of the world returned when a man they call Bahaullah (Arabic for “the glory of God”) was born in Persia 153 years ago. At 46, the man declared himself the “Promised One” and gathered a large following. Persecution in Persia killed an estimated 20,000 followers in the first six years and gave an initial boost to the faith, as persecution always does. Since then Bahai has spread to almost every country of the world, though there are grave difficulties in some countries.

In Rhodesia and South Africa, for instance, no attempt is being made to convert the white minority rulers, because it has been decreed that with their racist views they are not ready for the Bahai faith.

The central theme of the faith is the unity and oneness of all mankind. Other teachings stress the importance of education, equality, and the legal restriction of poverty and riches. The Bahai believe they are slowly and steadily organizing an entirely new system of government run from their Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel. They believe that someday the existing political structure will tumble and they will rule the world. This will be the beginning of the “World Order of Bahaullah, the Kingdom of God on Earth.”

“The primary objective of the faith,” says Madame Rabbani in her soft Canadian accent, “is to bring about world peace and understanding, and one of our most important teachings is the abolition of all prejudice.”

This is the kind of talk that endears her to strife-torn Africa. The Bahai doctrine of world order has also found eager hearing amid the chaos and confusion in Africa today. In many parts of Africa non-Bahais have been known to take their disputes before a Bahai assembly because they believe they will be fairly judged. The faith, brought to Uganda in 1951, is already a force to contend with in almost all Black Africa.

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Evangelical Initiative: Fingertip Facts

Sometime, somewhere, you saw some information that proves a point you are trying to make. But how do you get your hands on it now?

People in all walks of life face this frustration continually. For the sake of the Gospel, Christian Research Institute of Wayne, New Jersey, proposes to make the search easier, through modern technology.

Funded by undisclosed foundations, CRI has contracted with DSI Systems, of Rockville, Maryland, to place computer terminal viewers in a network of approximately 200 evangelical colleges and seminaries by September, 1971, with a target of 100 more by 1975. In addition, each school will have a complete microfilm file of CRI’s library, which has been indexed and stored in a computer’s memory.

The student will use a typewriter-like keyboard to ask for information; telephone lines will convey his request to the computer in Rockville. The computer will direct the microfilm data bank next to the student to display the desired information on a screen. It is hoped that the first units will be in operation within a few months.

CRI director Walter R. Martin is best known for his exhaustive research on various sects. He recognizes, however, that secularism is a much greater threat than heresy and so has long pursued a goal of making needed information available to any Christian whose faith is challenged, or who wants to help others whose faith is troubled. As might be expected from his bibliographical prowess, John Warwick Montgomery is closely involved with the project as a consultant.

The computer will not do the thinking for the user; he won’t be given glib answers to parrot around. It is only a tool, not unlike a library catalog or journal of abstracts, to guide him to what has been written.

But the lightning speed of the computer will give the hard-pressed student much more time to do his work.


Religion In Transit

The Presbyterian U. S. Board of Christian Education has voted to remain in the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization despite plans by the denomination’s Board of National Ministries to withdraw … The Board of Education (its staff was cut 42 per cent over the past fourteen months) is establishing a joint office of Worship and Music with the United Presbyterian Church.

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The Episcopal Church—pinched by the reluctance of more than half of its dioceses to support controversial social and financial commitments—has adopted a budget that will wipe out nearly all its reserve funds by the end of this year. The 1970 budget of $13,065,032 will cause a 20 per cent reduction of national headquarters staff, and is about $500,000 above estimated diocesan pledges.

The Church of the Nazarene is severing all connections with program boards and agencies of the National Council of Churches. The Nazarene General Board said NCC benefits were outweighed by “unsavory publicity” arising from the relationship.

Three Catholic priests, a former priest, a nun, a former nun, two seminarians, and a draft-resister were convicted on charges of destroying property in a raid last March on the Washington, D. C., offices of Dow Chemical Company.

A landmark decision by a Phoenix, Arizona Superior Court judge will return $50,000 collected last year in property taxes on parsonages and rectories to churches throughout Maricopa County.

Five seminaries in the Kentucky-Indiana area have formed an educational consortium called T.E.A.M. (Theological Education Association of Mid-America). Schools are Asbury, Lexington, Louisville Presbyterian, St. Meinrad, and Southern Baptist.

Contempt-of-court charges against 105 members of the Young Lords (see January 30 issue, page 31) were dropped last month after the militants reached an agreement to establish a day-care center in the First Spanish Methodist Church of New York City.

The basic mission budget of the American Baptist Convention received $226,463 less in 1969 than in 1968. Eighty-nine per cent or $11,876,231 of the 1969 goal was reached.

Of nine remaining Negro annual conferences within the United Methodist Church, two will be merged with the corresponding white conferences in June, three will vote this year, and plans are being developed in the others.

A Jefferson (Kentucky) County Circuit Court judge rejected a defense motion asking that a framed reproduction of the Ten Commandments be removed from his courtroom during a murder trial. The defense attorney contended that the commandments were “detrimental” to the trial of his client, and in violation of the freedom-of-religion clause in the U. S. Constitution.

The United Church of Canada has completed a thirty-two-minute, $100,000 multi-image color film, All May Be One, for viewing in commercial movie houses in six major Canadian cities.

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Miami Bible College has applied for a new educational FM station to operate with 3,000 watts of power from an 800-foot antenna. Programs would cover a wide area in southern Florida.

Decision magazine editor Sherwood B. Wirt will speak at the first Conference for Christian Writers to be held at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center near Santa Cruz, California, this month.

The new English translation of the Roman Catholic mass and other liturgical services have been confirmed by the Vatican and will be implemented in U. S. dioceses by Palm Sunday.

The American Baptist Convention is seeking an official associated relationship with the Progressive National Baptist Convention, a 600,000-member black denomination, according to ABC general secretary Dr. Edwin H. Tuller.

Believers’ Protest

When a Presbyterian chaplain in Northern Ireland expressed disbelief in the historical reality of Scripture from the pulpit of a suburban Belfast church, he sparked a dialogue that proved embarrassing.

“Do we believe that Jesus really stilled the storm? Do we believe that Jesus fed the five thousand? Of course we don’t!” declared the Reverend David Erskine. At that, a number of the congregation objected audibly, and some left the service.

The suggestion was made later that the protest was by elderly members of the congregation. But an interesting sequel has been the publication of letters from groups of younger Presbyterian ministers affirming their belief in the “historical reliability of the Gospel records.”



The Most Reverend Howard H. Clark, primate of the 250,000-member Anglican Church of Canada, has resigned three years before mandatory retirement at age 70, citing demands of the office and poor health.

Illinois GOP leader Congressman John B. Anderson was one of four laymen recently named to the board of directors of Youth for Christ International.

Columnist Ann Landers may have to take another look in 1972 at her reason for not becoming a rabbi (“I have no desire to be the first [female rabbi]”—see page 17). Sally Priesand, a third-year student at Cincinnati’s Hebrew Union College, expects to be ordained the first woman rabbi then.

The Reverend Paul G. Elbrecht has resigned as president of Alabama Lutheran Academy and College to accept a similar post at Concordia Lutheran College of Texas in Austin.

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Thomas L. Ristine, a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod clergyman of London, Ontario, has been named president of the Lutheran Council in Canada.

There is no ease in Zion for F. Eugene Garman. Eight reasons the Southern Baptist layman gave for why he doesn’t believe the Bible is infallible caused his expulsion from the First Baptist Church of Zion, Illinois.

National Catholic Reporter columnist Phil Tracy advocated the legalization of marijuana in an article in the news weekly last month. He suggested that everyone who smokes pot publicly announce it. “For a start,” he concluded, “I might point out that I wrote this piece stoned.”

Frederick Moore Binder, new president of Whittier (California) College, the Quaker school attended by President Nixon, is a member of the Lutheran Church in America.

William R. Wineke, 27, religion writer for the Wisconsin State Journal, was ordained a United Church of Christ minister of journalism last month.

Sandy English is black, young, and brilliant. He also is president of the Student Bar Association of American University in Washington, D. C., and a special assistant to Senator Mark O. Hatfield. Hatfield’s administrative assistant says of Sandy—who admits that Presidential politics may be a long-range goal: “He’s going to be the first black President of the United States.”

World Scene

A drastic cut—perhaps as much as one-third—of the Church of England’s twenty-one seminaries is expected to follow a vote by the Church Assembly recognizing the problems created by a drop in ministerial candidates from 737 in 1963 to 431 in 1968.

Britain’s oldest Roman Catholic publishing house, Burns and Oates, will close down—victim of a major shrinkage in the Catholic book market.

A proposed plan of union between the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) and the Congregational Union of Scotland was rejected in a close vote after ten years of negotiations.

More than 1,100 decisions for Christ were registered during a New Life for All campaign in the Wusum Stadium in Makeni, Sierra Leone.

As part of Pope Paul’s avowed policy of giving more recognition to women in the church, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Siena were declared “Doctors of the Church” on Valentine’s Day.

The World Council of Churches and world Jewish leaders agreed last month to hold regular consultations. The World Jewish Consultative Council may also initiate dialogue with the Vatican, according to the American Jewish Committee’s Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum … Jan Cardinal Willebrands, secretary of the Vatican’s Christian unity secretariat, predicts that within five years Anglicans and Catholics will be discussing concrete unity plans.

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About 450 Assemblies of God high-school and college students from the United States will participate in mission and literature programs in thirteen overseas countries this summer.

In the first planting in war-torn areas of Nigeria since 1967, the American Friends Service Committee is distributing $28,000 worth of maize, cassava, and yam seeds to needy farmers.

Wycliffe Bible translation projects have been completed for three Bolivia tribes, and a translation team has started work with the Inland Cuna tribe in the Republic of Panama.

Former biology professor Justin Obi, 63, testified last month that he shot and killed Episcopal Bishop Dillard H. Brown, Jr., of Monrovia, Liberia, last November (see December 19 issue, page 39). Obi said the shooting was “spontaneous [and] uncontrollable.”

World Vision International has announced a program to aid refugees in West Kalimantan (formerly West Borneo), including resettlement of at least 200 families, provision of food and teaching materials for twenty-one teachers, and a child-care program for 200 students.

A feasibility study for setting up a National Pastoral Council for the American Catholic Church was authorized last month by John Cardinal Dearden, president of the U. S. Catholic hierarchy. Meanwhile, the pastoral council of the Diocese of Rome, Italy, a body whose operations reportedly will be copied in many countries, held its first meeting. The Catholic Church in Canada is also planning a national council. Such councils would give all segments of the church a voice in its government.

The Russian Orthodox Church has decided to let its priests administer sacraments to Roman Catholics.

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