1. Henry J. Lyons, 57, resigned as president of the National Baptist Convention USA on March 16 in an emergency meeting of the denomination's board in St. Petersburg, Florida. The following day, Lyons pleaded guilty to federal counts of bank fraud and tax evasion in exchange for the dismissal of 49 other charges, including money laundering and extortion. Lyons was convicted February 27 on state charges of racketeering and grand theft in connection with business deals he made as leader of the historically African-American denomination (CT, April 5, 1999, p. 13). S. C. Cureton, a pastor from Greenville, South Carolina, is serving the six remaining months of Lyons's tenure.
  2. Christian recording artist Amy Grant has filed for divorce from husband Gary Chapman, host of Prime Time Country on the Nashville Network. A March 5 statement by Myrrh Records, Grant's record label, cited "irreconcilable differences." The couple, who have three children, announced their separation in December.
  3. James M. Dunn, 66, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC), will leave his post by September 1. Dunn, who has headed the BJC since 1981, will remain part-time with the organization as head of the BJC's newly created foundation. Dunn will also become a visiting professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  4. The Washington, D.C.–based Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities has changed its name to the Council for Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Directors hope the new name will eliminate confusion between the association and the Christian Coalition, the political activists' group.
  5. Christian illustrator Joe DeVelasco, 65, died after suffering a heart attack March 5 in Park Ridge, Illinois. DeVelasco, a former courtroom sketch artist, regularly illustrated articles and covers for CT in the 1970s and '80s (example in print copy).
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