June 28, 2005

Eugene B. Habecker, president of the American Bible Society, is leaving the New York–based organization to become the 30th president of his alma mater, Taylor University in Indiana. Describing his departure as “bittersweet,” Habecker, 58, said his return to Taylor, an evangelical Christian school, was “not about a diminished passion for the Bible cause, it’s about a calling.” Lamar Vest, the ABS chairman of the board, praised Habecker’s tenure, saying he had “built an incredible foundation” for the society’s future “in countries where we continue to lead the way in Bible distribution, youth outreach, literacy and advocacy.”

Paul Abrecht, an American Baptist and social ethicist who helped the World Council of Churches define and respond to church-and-society issues starting in the late 1940s, died May 21 at the age of 87. Abrecht was instrumental in planning two pivotal events—the 1966 World Conference on Church and Society in Geneva and the 1979 World Conference on Faith, Science and the Future at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.