Religion: The Case of Dr. Merriam

His congregation loves him. Removed from the pulpit at Manhattan's Broadway Presbyterian Church last month by vote of the New York Presbytery, the Rev.

Stuart Merriam, 38, attended impromptu services in the basement of the church—and his presence drew crowds twice as large as the ones that came to hear the substitute preacher upstairs. But to most of his fellow ministers. Stuart Merriam is a grave ecclesiastical embarrassment, a preacher ill-suited to his call. Last week the Presbytery of New York—an assembly of ministers and elders that governs 62 United Presbyterian churches in the city—decided, by a vote of 79 to 11,...

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