Presbyterians: Evangelist from Big Lick

Perhaps more than any other U.S. Protestant denomination, the United Presbyterian Church has eloquently proclaimed that contemporary Christianity must concern itself with the problems of the poor. Last week, at its 179th general assembly in Portland, Ore., the church elected as its new moderator, or chief presiding officer, a man who has spent his ecclesiastical career ministering to the underprivileged: the Rev. Eugene Smathers, 59, for 35 years pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church in tiny Big Lick, Tenn. (pop. 300).

Despite the remoteness of Big Lick and the size of Smathers'...

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