Briefs: North America

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A. L. Barry, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), died in an Orlando hospital March 23 at the age of 69, apparently from kidney and liver failure. Barry, the conservative denomination's 11th president, served in the office since 1992. The LCMS has 2.6 million members in 6,100 congregations worldwide. The denomination's first vice president, Robert T. Kuhn, will step in until a new president is elected in July.

Robert Boyd Munger died in Pasadena on February 16, at the age of 90. Munger wrote the classic InterVarsity booklet, My Heart—Christ's Home. Munger was a Presbyterian pastor and a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.

The board of Exodus International North America, a ministry to former homosexuals, reinstated John Paulk, its former chairman, to the board. Paulk, who is manager of Focus on the Family's Homosexuality and Gender Department, entered a gay bar in Washington, D.C., last October.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, Texas) is launching a master's program in ministry to Muslims, which the school says is one of only three such programs in the United States. Southwestern has also signed an agreement with Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut to carry out faculty and student exchanges and to share library resources.

Pioneering radio broadcaster Mel Johnson died March 16 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was 83. Johnson launched Children's Bible Hour in 1942. It is heard on more than 700 stations today. Johnson was chairman of Northwestern College's board of trustees from 1978 until 1997.

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