Crosswalk CEO resigns; 15 staffers laid off
Christian Web site laid off 15 more employees yesterday—nearly a quarter of its 64-member staff. Also gone is William Parker as chief executive officer (though he'll reportedly stay on as a consultant for a while). Parker will be replaced by Scott Fehrenbacher, who previously served as the site's editor-in-chief and led a values-based investing organization. "The restructuring will involve the consolidation of functions to the Chantilly, Virginia headquarters, implementation of more cost-effective means of generating content and further proficiency in utilizing viral marketing," the company—which burned $600,000 a month in the third quarter of 2000—said in a press release. The good news for the company is that it's trading back above $1/share, which puts it out of danger of being dropped by Nasdaq. Other good news for the company: promised to spend $500,000 or so over the next year in advertising. Hey, at least somebody has money to spend … (Watch for Christianity Today's coverage of the for-profit Christian Web site world in its upcoming special technology issue, due out next month.)

Ex-mobsters face off on conversion stories
Tom Papania has appeared on Focus on the Family, CBN, Charisma magazine, and a host of other Christian media. And why not? He's got a great testimony, "From Mafia to Minister," about his life from organized crime to Jesus. Only one problem: another ex-mobster, Robert "Rocky" Scarfone, says Papania is stealing his stories. "''I'm claiming he used true stories to bolster what is untrue—his testimony,'' Scarfone says. He filed a lawsuit against Papania, Focus on the Family, and CBN, saying they conspired to steal his story. (The cases against Focus and CBN have been dismissed.) Papania's lawyer says it's all part of fame: "You're going to have people coming out of the woodwork filing frivolous lawsuits. It's the cost of doing business for becoming well known."

Jesse Helms: Funnel international aid though charities and religious organizations
You've heard of George W. Bush's plans to allow churches and religious organizations to receive government funds for fighting poverty and addiction and other social programs. Now Jesse Helms, who will again head the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wants to apply that vision to international aid. "The time has come to reject what President Bush correctly labels the 'failed compassion of towering, distant bureaucracies' and, instead, empower private and faith-based groups who care most about those in need," he said at a speech to the American Enterprise Institute. "If we can reform the way in which we deliver aid to the needy, I will be willing to take the lead in the Senate in supporting increased U.S. investment." Helms has been one of the sharpest critics of U.S. foreign aid, but says that Franklin Graham helped to change his mind on the subject.

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