Ralph Reed, former director of the Christian Coalition, who was attempting to launch a political career, lost his bid last month in the Georgia Republican primary election for nomination as lieutenant governor. Reed, 45, was defeated by Casey Cagle, a state senator, 56 percent to 44 percent. Reed, who became prominent as a voice for Pat Robertson’s appeals to conservative Christian voters, was believed by political analysts to have suffered this year from his ties to disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Longtime Vatican media spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls will retire and be succeeded by the current head of Vatican radio and television. The appointment of Federico Lombardi, 63, to head the Holy See Press Office partially consolidates the Vatican’s media operations, since Lombardi will retain his position at the helm of the Holy See’s radio and television outlets. The move in July ends the 22-year tenure of Navarro-Valls, 69, a Spanish journalist who is credited with overhauling the Vatican’s press operations.

Ted Engstrom, president emeritus of the evangelical relief agency World Vision International, died July 14 at age 90. The author of more than 50 books, Engstrom also was known for his influence among evangelicals through his work with Youth for Christ International and Zondervan Publishing and his service on the board of Focus on the Family in California and Colorado. He became executive director of Youth for Christ in the 1950s. He later served as vice president and then president of World Vision, retiring in 1987.