September 22, 2009

Michael A. Battle Sr., president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, home to six theological schools, will leave that office after a six-year term to become the U.S. representative to the African Union with the rank of ambassador. The African Union, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, integrates the political interests of 53 African nations. The Senate confirmed the appointment on August 7.

Edwin Tuller, 95, the top executive for American Baptist Churches during the civil rights movement, died August 25 in Pittsburgh. “Ed Tuller was one of a vanguard of church leaders who made it clear that support for the civil rights movement was a Christian duty,” said Michael Kin namon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches. “He openly supported his fellow Baptist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and he was prominently visible at the ‘I Have a Dream’ march on Wash ington in 1963 and other demonstrations.” He served as ABC general secretary from 1959 to 1970. His successor was Robert C. Campbell, who died July 27. Tuller oversaw the 1962 completion of the American Baptist headquarters building in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania—a circular building known as the “holy doughnut” and also called by some “Tuller’s Cruller.”