* Paul Anderson, who billed himself as the "World's Strongest Man" in up to 500 evangelistic inspirational talks annually around the nation, died August 15 at age 61. He had been in ill health since experiencing kidney failure in 1983. The 304 pound, 5-foot, 9-inch Anderson won a 1956 Olympic gold medal by lifting a record 413.5 pounds when he asked God for strength while battling a 104-degree fever. In all, he set nine world weightlifting records, including lifting 6,270 pounds on his back. He gave up his amateur status in 1961 in order to establish a home for juvenile delinquents in Vidalia, Georgia.
* The Puerto Rico Supreme Court is allowing public schools to continue involvement in a voucher program for a second year while it deliberates the constitutionality of government sponsorship. A superior court judge ruled the program unconstitutional earlier this year after the Puerto Rican Teachers Association filed suit, but the Institute for Justice appealed (CT, June 20, 1994, p. 65).
* In response to complaints from the Catholic Defense League, Hennepin County, Minnesota, officials have revised an employee cultural-diversity training program and apologized for anything that may have been "inaccurate, inappropriate, or offensive." The Catholic Defense League had complained that the training had characterized Catholicism as full of legalistic tenets and had intimated that Pope Pius XII backed the Holocaust.
* Donald William Munro, Jr., is the new executive director of the American Scientific Affiliation, a 2,000-member organization that explores the relationship of science to Christian faith. Munro, chair of the biology department at Houghton (N.Y.) College, succeeds Robert L. Hermann, who has retired after 13 years.
* Twenty-nine Jews for Jesus missionaries and volunteers handed out a record 1,144,626 pieces of literature to passersby in subways, on street corners, and in Times Square during a month long campaign in New York this summer. The ministry says 415 people became Christians as a result of the outreach, the largest response it has had in 21 years in the city.
* Edwin G. Mulder, 65, retired as general secretary of the Reformed Church in America on August 31. He had held the denomination's highest office since 1983.
* Western Seminary Phoenix, an Arizona branch campus since 1988 of Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, became Phoenix Seminary last month with a fall enrollment of more than 200. Rick Efird, senior pastor at Desert Springs Bible Church in Phoenix, will serve as interim president while a nationwide search is conducted.
* The boards of two U.S.-based missionary agencies voted in August to merge during the next 12 months into a yet-to-be-named ministry. The 65-year-old World team, based in Miami and Atlanta, will move its offices to the Warrington, Pennsylvania, headquarters of Regions Beyond Missionary Union, founded in 1873. The staffs of the organizations, each numbering around 200, will be combined, along with the boards.
* New Tribes Mission (NTM) pilot Dave Wilson, 36, of Colorado Springs, was killed July 18 as his plane crashed into a mountain during a storm in West New Britain, a province of Papua New Guinea. He and passenger Jacob Kasongli, a Christian from the Asengseng tribe, died in the wreck en route to Hoskins, Papua New Guinea. Wilson is survived by his wife, Glenda, and two daughters, ages 13 and 10. The Florida-based NTM also is coping with the loss of five missionaries, abducted from Panama and Colombia in 1993.
* Catholicos Vazgen I, supreme patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church since 1955, died August 18 of cancer at Yerevan. He was 85. Vazgen I had been the 130th patriarch of the church, which began in A.D. 301.
* The Church of England's General Synod defeated a proposal to remove the appointment of diocesan bishops from state control by a 273 to-110 vote in August. The prime minister will continue to have the final determination in recommending candidates to the monarchy, and Parliament will still sanction general synod action before it becomes law.
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