Presbyterians: In the Van

The United Presbyterians have a knack for breaking race barriers without catering to either politics or sentimentalism. Last week, at their 176th General Assembly in Oklahoma City, the Presbyterians elected a qualified and articulate church statesman as moderator of the 3,291,998-member church for a one-year term. He is the Rev. Edler Hawkins, 55, a Negro.

The Presbyterian moderator's tasks are largely ceremonial, but Edler Hawkins (his life is an endless battle against people who spell his name "Elder") nonetheless becomes chief spokesman for a church that is 95% white in membership. A...

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