Presbyterians: Inappropriate Testimonial

In Iowa City, Iowa, last week, a seven-man ecclesiastical court of clergy and laymen formally convicted Dr. Joseph E. Baker and his wife Matilda of disrupting the "peace and unity" of the First Presbyterian Church. The couple were indefinitely suspended from membership in the congregation, in a rare and unusual Presbyterian Church trial.

The unlikely cause of the proceeding was whether or not the First Presbyterian congregation should tear down its present church. Last winter, by a vote of 169-121, the congregation accepted the recommendation of a building committee to demolish the First Presbyterian's 112-year-old church and erect a much-needed larger...