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News Bites

Church fish fry nixed, Bush's faith, Lutheran gun tizzy, Dobson departs, Bill Bright dies, A new Man in the Mirror, Bryn Jones goes home

Church in Hot Water Over Fish Fry

A small Sanford, Fla., congregation's fish fry fund-raiser became the big one that got away after a game warden shut it down because the church reportedly was illegally selling fish.

A Florida fish and wildlife officer cited Victory Deliverance Center member Wanda Gramlin in May for dealing in freshwater and saltwater fish without a license, and illegally selling freshwater game fish.

Gramlin, 49, was singled out because she was running the stand when authorities arrived. She faced fines of up to $500 and up to six months in jail on second-degree misdemeanor charges.

The fish fry is a major fund-raising effort of the 50-member Sanford church, which uses the money to send about 30 youth between the ages of 10 and 18 to an annual church camp in Columbus, Ohio. The church bought much of the fish for its fund-raiser, but a member who donated the game fish to the sale caught them in local lakes.

The church raised $3,000 of the estimated $10,000 needed for the trip. "We're not going to let the devil stop us," Gramlin vowed. Barbecued ribs at the church's roadside stand replaced the fish after her citation.
Source: Orlando Sentinel


Book Explores President's Faith

More than any other president in recent years, George W. Bush's presidency is "faith based." In the first book to explore the religious ideals and background of the 43rd president of the United States, The Faith of George W. Bush discusses how Bush's spiritual beliefs shape his private life, as well as drive his policies and politics.

While still governor of Texas, Bush asked leading pastors to lay hands on him and pray for his future because he felt "called" to seek higher office.

Written by Stephen Mansfield, former pastor of Belmont Church, in Nashville, Tenn., the historical biography, which will be released in November, features original interviews with the president's spiritual advisers.

"This book will remain a fascinating read and historical account for decades to come," says Stephen Strang, founder of Strang Communications, which publishes Ministries Today. "We are all watching history unfold during this presidency. This book allows us to step back and examine our president," Strang says.

To read a free chapter of The Faith of George W. Bush, visit /pdfs/2420.pdf.
Source: Charisma News Service


Churches Fired Up at Gun Law

A new handgun law in Minnesota was targeted by a church, claiming it infringes on religious freedom by requiring them to tell visitors that guns aren't allowed.

The Edina Community Lutheran Church filed a suit contending the law--which took effect in May--is unconstitutional because it requires the congregation to allow people with permits to carry guns in its parking lot.

The law is expected to allow thousands more people to get permits to carry a concealed gun, though businesses and churches are allowed to prohibit guns in their buildings.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune


James Dobson 'Moves Over'

James Dobson, founder of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Focus on the Family (FOTF), resigned as president and chief executive on May 15. He handed over management duties to former Christian Coalition (CC) leader and Ronald Reagan cabinet member Donald Hodel.

While Dobson, 67, said the change was needed to give him more time to speak and spread his message of conservative family values, the move signals that FOTF is beginning to prepare for Dobson's eventual departure. Dobson also is sharing some time on the radio and television with two younger voices--psychiatrist Bill Maier, who is in his 40s, and obstetrician Walter Larimore, 50.

In his May newsletter to 2.5 million readers, Dobson calls the shift a new era.

Hodel and Dobson met in 1987 in Washington, D.C., and he became a member of Focus' board in 1995, helping it through a restructuring two years later. He said he won't seek to increase Focus' political influence, despite his CC leadership from 1997 to 1999.
Source: the Associated Press


Campus Crusade Founder Dies

Bill Bright, who founded Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), the world's largest ministry, died July 19. Bright, 81, died at his Orlando, Fla., home from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.

Begun in 1951, four years after Bright became a Christian, the organization quickly prospered and spread to other campuses. CCC is now a $347 million-a-year organization with a staff of 26,000 people spanning 191 countries.

Bright's booklet, The Four Spiritual Laws, has been printed in some 200 languages and distributed to more than 2.5 billion people, making it the most widely disseminated religious booklet in history.

In 1979, Bright commissioned the Jesus film, which has been viewed by more than 5.1 billion people in 234 countries.

In 1996, Bright won the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and donated the prize money to causes promoting the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer.

Bright is survived by his wife, Vonette, two sons, a sister, a brother and four grandchildren.
Source: Charisma News Service


Man in the Mirror Names New President

Patrick Morley, founder of the Man in the Mirror (MITM), named longtime friend and the ministry's chief operating officer David Delk as president of the Orlando, Fla.-based organization in May. A noted author and speaker, Delk will soon release The Dad in the Mirror, co-authored with Morley.

"David's passion and heart combined with his strong leadership and people skills made him the obvious choice to lead this organization," Morley said.

Delk said he's thrilled with the opportunity. "Nothing has the power to change the world like reaching men, and I believe God has uniquely positioned ... [MITM] ... to be one of His instruments to see millions of new men become disciples of Jesus Christ," he said.
Source: Man in the Mirror


U.K. Apostolic Charismatic Leader Dies

Bryn Jones, 63, a well-respected charismatic leader with a worldwide apostolic ministry in England, died of unknown reasons May 1 during a ministry trip in the San Diego area.

Jones founded Coventry-based Covenant Ministries International (CMI), a church-planting organization with oversight of several churches worldwide.

Jones was editor of Restoration magazine, a respected prophetic publication published by CMI. He is survived by his wife, Edna, and four grown children.
Source: Charisma News Service

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