Religion: Looking Toward a New Era

The Presbyterians, at a turning point, elect their leader

When the nearly 700 delegates to the General Assembly of the 3.1 million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gathered in Phoenix last week to elect a leader, many observers looked upon the outcome as foreordained. Well before the voting began, stolid, shrewd William P. Thompson, 65, a lawyer from Wichita, Kans., sometimes regarded as the pope of the Presbyterians, was the odds-on favorite for the post of Stated Clerk (chief administrator). But on the fourth round of voting, Dark Horse James E. Andrews, 55, a droll, self-deprecating...

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