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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!