Presbyterians: The Layman Leader

For the first time in its history, a layman has become chief executive officer in the 3,300,000-member United Presbyterian Church. At the Presbyterians' 178th General Assembly in Boston last week, delegates elected Wichita Lawyer William Phelps Thompson, 47, as their new Stated Clerk over two other candidates, both ministers. Thompson, who for the past year has held the largely ceremonial office of moderator, succeeds the Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, the new General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.

Conservative Mood. Thompson's victory was an upset, and after the election delegates...

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