1. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) has expressed "deep regret and profound disagreement with" recent ecumenical actions taken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In July in Saint Louis, the 2.6 million-member LCMS, at its triennial convention, criticized the ELCA for establishing full communion with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Reformed Church in America, and United Church of Christ (CT, Oct. 6, 1997, p. 81). Delegates also found fault with the joint declaration on the doctrine of justification between the ELCA and Roman Catholic Church (CT, Aug. 10, 1998, p. 26).
  2. Regent University founder Pat Robertson on July 16 instructed the school to return a $1,000 grant awarded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts after learning that the state panel received $523,000 last year from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Virginia Beach school had used the funds to help produce Pavel's Chariot, a film about the Holocaust. A day earlier, the Robertson-founded Christian Coalition had called for an end to government funding of the NEA.
  3. Dove Award winner O'Landa Draper, 34, died July 21 of kidney failure at a Nashville hospital. The gospel musician, who led the 60-member singing group the Associates, had been nominated for Grammy album of the year five times.
  4. David Wells, 59, became the dean of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Charlotte, North Carolina, campus in July. Wells will continue as a theology professor at Gordon's campus in Hamilton, Massachusetts. He replaces Wayne Goodwin, 57, who will continue as ministry professor in Charlotte.

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