RecoveringBilly Graham underwent partial hip replacement surgery on January 6 after falling in a Jacksonville, Florida, hotel room. Graham, 85, should make a complete recovery, according to the Mayo Clinic, which performed the operation.
BequestJoan B. Kroc, heir of the McDonald's fortune of her late husband, Ray Kroc, died in October at age 75. In January her estate left the Salvation Army $1.5 billion—one of the largest bequests ever—to build more than two dozen community centers. The Army, which took in $1.4 billion nationally in 2003—operates 200 daycare centers, 350 community centers, and 1,700 thrift stores nationwide.
DiedJonathan Chao, founder of China Ministries International and director of the Christianity and China Research Center, died January 12 in West Covina, California, after a four-month battle with lymphoma. Chao, a strong defender of China's house-church movement, was 65.
DiedLaton Holmgren, former general secretary of the American Bible Society from 1963 to 1978, died January 25 at his retirement home in Rancho Mirage, California. Holmgren, 88, had faced declining health for several years. Holmgren envisioned the Good News for Modern Man translation of the Bible.
MurderedSergei Bessarab, a Baptist minister, was shot 13 times with a Kalashnikov assault rifle January 12, apparently while he was praying in his church in the northern Tajikistan town of Isfar, near the borders with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Nothing was taken from the church and the motive is unknown.
PromotedMichael S. Hyatt was appointed by the board of directors of Thomas Nelson Inc. as president and chief operating officer of the Nashville-based publisher. Sam Moore will continue as chairman of the board and CEO. Hyatt, 48, has served in a variety of roles with Thomas Nelson.
ElectedJean-Arnold de Clermont, president of the Protestant Federation of France, has been elected president of the Conference of European Churches. The CEC is the continent's largest grouping of Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican churches.
DiedLewis A. Drummond, 77, former president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, died on January 4 in Asheville, North Carolina, following a heart attack. Drummond also suffered from cancer. Known for his commitment to evangelism and spiritual awakening, Drummond was also the inaugural Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. Said Timothy George, dean at Beeson, "Dr. Drummond was one of the most encouraging and hopeful Christians I have ever known."
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Christian History Corner reported on the Salvation Army's receipt of $1.5 billion.
Would You Like to Super-Size Your Ministry? | Joan Kroc's $1.5 billion bequest to the Salvation Army promises to boost its admirable outreach, but history suggests new challenges and temptations lie ahead. (Jan. 30, 2004)
The Blood-and-Fire Mission of the Salvation Army | Where did this tuba-playing, kettle-wielding social force come from, and what's it all about? (Feb. 06, 2004)
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