- Four congregations that have welcomed noncelibate homosexuals are no longer welcome in the American Baptist Churches in the USA, but a fifth has been allowed to remain in the denomination. Last year, the general board of the denomination adopted the recommendation of a unity committee that noncelibate homosexuality is "incompatible" with Christian teaching and the "prevailing understanding of American Baptists." The four churches—all from California—lost an appeal in June before the general board. The Granville, Ohio, church that successfully appealed to remain in the denomination had encountered previous voting irregularity when the matter came before regional Ohio Baptists.
- Resigned National Baptist Convention USA leader Henry J. Lyons has been ordered to pay $5.2 million in restitution for tax evasion and bank fraud. Lyons, who is already serving five and a half years in Florida for grand theft and racketeering of almost $4 million (CT, April 5, 1999, p. 13), has been sentenced to four years and three months of concurrent time in prison.
- Sports executive and author Robert A. Briner, 63, died of cancer June 18 in Greenville, Illinois. Briner wrote his first book, Roaring Lambs: A Gentle Plan to Radically Change Your World (Zondervan), in 1993. Six more books followed.
- Clyde B. McDowell, president of Denver Seminary, died on June 7 at the age of 49, a year after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. In 1996, McDowell became the fifth president of Denver Seminary, which is linked to the Conservative Baptist Association of America. Leith Anderson, senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has been interim president since March.
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