April 4, 2006

The top executive of the Baptist World Alliance plans to retire from the post he has held since 1988. Denton Lotz, 67, told the organization’s executive committee during its March 6-8 meeting at BWA headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, that he would announce his departure time when the BWA General Council meets July 3-8 in Mexico City. The umbrella alliance survived a crisis in recent years when Southern Baptist Convention leaders ended the denomination’s long relationship with the BWA.

James E. Andrews, a longtime leader of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who helped orchestrate the 1983 reunion of the church’s northern and southern branches, died March 7 at age 77. Andrews was struck and killed by a car near his home in Decatur, Georgia. The denominational merger reunited two churches that had been split since the Civil War—the Presbyterian Church in the United States (the southern branch) and the United Presbyterian Church in the USA (the northern branch). Andrews became the stated clerk, or top elected officer, of the southern church in 1973. He held that post until the 1983 merger, served as co-stated clerk for one year, and served as stated clerk of the PCUSA from 1984 to 1996. “He’d probably say his crowning achievement was helping to bring about reunion,” his widow, Elizabeth, told Presbyterian News Service.