Disgraced evangelist Tony Alamo has been sentenced to 175 years in prison for child sexual abuse, with a judge warning him about facing future judgment from a higher authority. “Mr. Alamo, one day you will face a higher and a greater judge than me,” U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes told Alamo November 13 at a Texarkana, Arkansas, court, the Associated Press reported. After his July conviction on charges he took underage girls across state lines for sex, Alamo, 75, received the maximum sentence. Alamo first made headlines as a sect leader in California during the youthful Jesus People movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s when he and wife Susan, since deceased, recruited converts off the sidewalks of Hollywood.
Religious broadcaster James Dobson, 73, will end his hosting of the program Focus on the Family in February, a final step of resignation from the organization of that name he founded more than 30 years ago. The Colorado Springs ministry announced Dobson’s plans October 30. Dobson resigned the presidency of the ministry in 2003 and stepped down from its board, along with his wife Shirley, in February. Focus spokesperson Gary Schneeberger said the decision did not relate to his health: “He’s as robust as he ever was.” The broadcaster has no immediate plans beyond finishing a book on raising daughters, Schnee berger said.
Nilson Fanini, 77, the Brazilian pastor and evangelist who served as president of the Baptist World Alliance from 1995 to 2000, died September 19 in Bedford, Texas, of complications following a stroke. As BWA president, Fanini viewed the alliance’s primary role as defending human rights, attacking social injustice, promoting peace, and helping those who are hungry and those with desperate needs. In addition, he placed evangelism at the heart of the fellowship of more than 200 Baptist conventions and unions. He also met with world leaders ranging from Pope John Paul II to Cuban president Fidel Castro.