In Brief: November 15, 1999

1999This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.
  1. United Methodist minister Jimmy Creech faces another trial for violating church law by officiating at a same-sex union. A church council acquitted Creech of similar charges in 1998 because the denomination's ban on same- sex unions was still a guideline and not a law. Since the council's ruling, United Methodist minister Gregory Dell has been found guilty of presiding over a same-sex ceremony, Dell's appeal of the conviction has been denied, but his suspension has been limited to June 30, 2000.
  2. The House Judiciary Committee passed a measure to undercut Oregon's assisted suicide law in September. The measure would revoke the licenses of physicians who help terminally ill patients end their lives with controlled drugs. Under Oregon's law, at least 16 people have killed themselves with lethal drugs since 1997 (CT, June 14, 1999, p. 66). Critics say the federal bill interferes with state rights and could discourage doctors from giving patients pain medication out of fear of unintentional death. Majority Whip Don Nickles (R-Okla.) has introduced a Senate version of the proposed law.
  3. John G. Bennett Jr., former head of the Foundation for New Era Philanthropy, will likely serve the remaining 10 years of his 12-year prison sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal in October. New Era's collapse in 1995 marked the largest charity fraud in U.S. history (CT, Oct. 27, 1997, p. 86).
  4. Mission to the Americas, a 50-year-old missions agency with 300 personnel across North America, is moving its administrative office to Denver next year. Now located in Wheaton, Illinois, the agency will join its sister ministries CBAmerica, CBInternational, and Mission Advance Foundation, which moved to Colorado earlier this year.
  5. Campus Crusade for Christ opened its new international headquarters in Orlando, Florida, in October. Crusade is active in 181 countries with 68 ministries and supports more than 20,000 staff. The $45 million "Lake Hart" campus eventually will include a prayer center, a retreat and conference center, and a hotel.
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