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The Trials of 1999: The Cutting Edge of Right-Wing Power in the Presbyterian Church
Institute for Democracy Studies, November 4, 1999
-- An historic initiative of the conservative wing of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is unfolding in a series of ecclesiastical trials in the fall of 1999. The trials are the leading edge of the broader agenda of the right-wing and its efforts to gain power in the church. Four cases are being tried in the Synod of the Northeast, and all involve issues of gay/lesbian rights within the church. This "judicial track" is an outgrowth of the drive to pass conservative policies in the church's annual General Assembly-notably the recent ban on gay ordination known as Amendment B-and to enforce them through the judicial mechanisms of the church.
    An entity called the Presbyterian Coalition, the main coordinating body for the conservative movement in the church, issued a Declaration and Strategy Paper in 1998. This document harnesses a far-reaching theological vision to a six-pronged plan to gain control of the church. The six areas of focus are mission, theological education, worship, polity (church structure and decision-making processes), educational ministries, and church discipline.1 Several members of the Coalition's task force on church discipline are leading the prosecution of these trials. New Jersey attorney Julius Poppinga, who is counsel for the complainants in two of the cases, chairs the Coalition task force on church discipline.
I.) The Political Backdrop to Conservative Judicial Activism
    For more than 30 years, conservative evangelicals within the Presbyterian Church (USA) have been organizing to attack and neutralize the social witness tradition which has characterized mainline Presbyterianism for much of this century. This conservative "renewal" movement started with the founding of the Presbyterian Lay Committee by a group of conservative businessmen led by J. Howard Pew of the Sun Oil company. Pew was a leading patron of right-wing politics both inside and outside the church from the mid-1930s until his death in 1971.
    The conservative renewal movement has taken many forms over the years, diversifying into a network of specialized groups focused on such things as pastoral revival, pro-life advocacy, evangelical global missions, and "gay conversion." Since the early 1990s, however, a tendency toward strategic vision and consolidation has emerged to reshape the conservative movement and set the stage for an end-game struggle for control of the PC (USA).
    A group called the Presbyterian Forum has taken the lead in conservative efforts to gain control of the annual General Assembly-the denomination's central decision-making body. The Forum, led by veteran deep south Republican operative Clarke Reed, has brought national political party-style convention strategy and electioneering to bear on the process.2
    Meanwhile, the Presbyterian Coalition's task force on church discipline has played a pivotal role in supporting and helping to shape the current church judicial proceedings. Other connections to the right-wing "renewal" movement are also evident. These connections shed light on how the use of judicial power is developing as a component of the broader movement for conservative control within the church. The church trials of the fall of 1999 epitomize this trend. One of the goals of these efforts appears to be the neutralization and elimination of traditional social justice constituencies and commitments-in the first instance those in support of gay/lesbian rights and empowerment.
    The Coalition's Declaration and Strategy Paper lays out a theological and political vision designed to move beyond the single-issue focus on gay ordination which characterized its early work. The ratification of this groundbreaking document was preceded by a meeting of Coalition leaders that took place from April 30 to May 2, 1998, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The meeting was the culmination of the work of the Coalition's "Visioning Team." One member of the "Visioning Team" is Parker Williamson,3 executive editor of The Presbyterian Layman, the chief publication of the historic right-wing denominational organization, the Presbyterian Lay Committee. Unsurprisingly, the Lay Committee hailed the emerging "radical" agenda.4
    The Presbyterian Coalition's fourth annual conference in Dallas, Texas, in September 1999, revealed a movement united in its vision but divided on strategy. The Coalition is currently struggling with the question of how to implement its agenda. What emerged from the Coalition's Dallas conference were three different approaches: 1) A reformist, "common ground" approach based on further dialogue with the other side-represented by Jerry Andrews, pastor of Glenn Ellyn Presbyterian Church in Illinois, and chair of the Coalition's task force on polity; 2) a mutual schism model-presented by Mark Toone, pastor of Chapel Hill Presbyterian church in Gig Harbor, Washington; and 3) a denominational conflict and takeover model-propounded by Parker Williamson of the Presbyterian Lay Committee.
    Williamson rejected both the common ground and the schismatic approach and roused the crowd with his call for a "bloody battle" for control of the church.5 Williamson is a member of the Coalition's nominating committee, which controls the development of its board of directors. For Williamson and his supporters, this is a potentially important position from which to influence the Coalition further towards his belligerent vision.6
    Church Discipline
    The Coalition's long-term strategic differences not withstanding, the judicial processes are well underway, auguring a new era of ecclesiastical trials and purges in the service of political ends-namely the capturing of the church as an institutional whole as set out in the Coalition's Declaration and Strategy Paper.
    The Coalition's strategy regarding church discipline is centered on the concepts of authority and accountability. The goal is to purify the church of practices and people deemed to have, among other things, a "distorted understanding of grace," an "understanding of privacy which undermines practices of self-examination," and an aversion to living "under the authority of the biblical and constitutional standards of the church."7 The Coalition's vision of church discipline is comprehensive, building up from a basis in disciplinary pastoral "covenant groups," along with so-called "restoration" ministries, the primary reference here being to "gay conversion."8
    Institutionally, the Coalition is promoting a reinvigoration of church polity mechanisms related to the development of church leadership and the character of ordained offices within the church.9 The Coalition's vision of church discipline implies an increased focus on the use of judicial power to define, purify, and gain control of church leadership structures. The Presbyterian Layman reports that the Coalition's task force on church discipline is, according to one of its members, Peggy Hedden, "considering recommendations that would make it easier for Presbyterians to understand and work within the denomination's judicial system." What's more, the task force may also develop a network of Presbyterian attorneys to provide pro bono services for judicial cases.10 Hedden is also a board member of the Presbyterian Lay Committee.
II.) The Trials of the Synod of the Northeast
    The Synod of the Northeast Permanent Judicial Commission is hearing four cases in the Fall of 1999. These cases mark the beginning of a judicial power struggle, which has emerged as a leading edge of the effort to transform the church into a conservative evangelical institution. Julius Poppinga, a central figure in the Presbyterian Coalition, has said that if the complaints in the current trials do not prevail, then a special session of the General Assembly may be warranted. He says that the purpose would "not" be "to reverse the individual cases, but to address constitutionally, the distortion that these cases will have foisted upon us."11
The Cases: A Timeline
October 7-9 (Bedford, New Hampshire)
· Hair and McCallum v. the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, Connecticut
    Early 1998   The nominating committee of First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, Connecticut, proposed Wayne Osborne, an openly gay man, for re-election as an elder. The congregation affirmed his re-nomination.12
    June 1998   Members of First Presbyterian Church obtained a stay of enforcement against Osborne's installation from three members of the Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) of the Presbytery of Southern New England.
    March 1999   A complaint filed by church members Mairi Hair and James McCallum was heard by the Presbytery PJC, which upheld none of the five charges of irregularity against the Session of First Presbyterian Church. The basic issue in this complaint is that Osborne was not forced to disclose whether or not he was sexually active at the time of his ordination examination. The complainants' appeal was recently heard before the PJC of the Synod of the Northeast, which upheld part of the complaint in an 8-3 decision. The Synod PJC ordered First Presbyterian Church to reexamine Osborne regarding homosexual activity13 -although they also found that the Session had not voted to install Wayne Osborne in specific defiance of Amendment B. The counsel team for the complainants includes Walter E. Baker and William Prey, both elders at Old Greenwich Presbyterian Church (see below), and Mary Abbazia, an elder at First Presbyterian of Stamford.14
· The Session of Londonderry Presbyterian Church, New Hampshire, et al. v. the Presbytery of Northern New England
    April 1997   The Session of Christ Church, Burlington, Vermont, issued a resolution condemning Amendment B and stating that it would continue its policy of ordaining church leaders without regard to sexual orientation. The Presbytery initially instructed Christ Church to conform with Amendment B.
    December 1998 The Presbytery rescinded its order that Christ Church conform to Amendment B. A stay of enforcement was filed by approximately one-third of active presbyters.
    March 1999   A group of churches led by the session of Londonderry Presbyterian Church filed a complaint against the Presbytery of Northern New England.
    October 1999   The case was heard by the PJC of the Synod of the Northeast, which upheld the complaint 11-0. The Presbytery's retraction of its original order of compliance to Christ Church was declared null and void, and the Presbytery was ordered to bring Christ Church into conformity with Amendment B.15 The counsel for the complainants is Julius Poppinga, elder at Grace Presbyterian Church in Montclair, New Jersey (see profile below). Poppinga has claimed that the case represents a potential "full-blown constitutional crisis" in the church.
November 4-6, Newark, New Jersey, Airport Ramada Inn
· The Session of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, et al. v. Hudson River Presbytery
    1991   The Session of South Presbyterian Church, Dobbs Ferry, New York, approved a motion which affirmed "holy unions"-religious celebrations of committed gay and lesbian relationships- as part of its ministry. The church has hosted about 15 holy unions during the past four years.16
    September 1998   The Session of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church sent a letter of complaint to the Stated Clerk of Hudson River Presbytery, which resulted in the creation of an administrative committee to investigate South Presbyterian's holy union policy.17 The Presbytery's General Council recommended allowing for local sovereignty in affirming holy unions as long as the distinction between "holy unions" and "marriage" as defined in the Book of Order is maintained.
    January 1999   Hudson River Presbytery voted to affirm this recommendation, setting the stage for the current remedial case. A group of churches led by Bethlehem Presbyterian Church and its pastor, Rev. Marc Benton, are the complainants against Hudson River Presbytery.18 The case is currently before the Synod of the Northeast Permanent Judicial Commission.19 The attorney for the complainants is Julius Poppinga, elder of Grace Presbyterian Church, in Montclair, New Jersey (see profile below). At the 1999 conference of the Presbyterian Coalition, Poppinga declared that if holy unions are not banned, "the reservoir of moral authority of our congregation to speak in matters of sexual morality will have been utterly exhausted." He believes that if this "pattern," which he considers to be "totally out of sync with the created order," is brought into the "Christian marriage" service, the result will be an "ecclesiastical crisis."20
· The Session of Merchantville Presbyterian Church, et al. v. West Jersey Presbytery
    March 1999   West Jersey Presbytery voted 81-61 to accept Graham Van Keuren, an openly gay man, as a candidate for ordination. When pressed about celibacy-the distinction being between gay orientation and gay practice-Van Keuren said that he would not be celibate if he becomes involved in a relationship. After the vote, a group of presbyters filed a protest.21 The remedial case against West Jersey Presbytery is currently before the Synod of the Northeast Permanent Judicial Commission. Lead counsel for the complainants is Gary R. Griffith, a lawyer from Ocean City, New Jersey. Griffith has also been a member lawyer of the Christian Legal Society (CLS), a conservative evangelical litigation network.22
III.) The Presbyterian Coalition's Task Force On Church Discipline
    Members of the Presbyterian Coalition's task force on church discipline are playing central roles in the four trials of the fall of 1999. Task force chair Julius Poppinga called the cases "clusters of cancer" at the Dallas meeting of the Coalition. Poppinga also declared that his taskforce is "not out on a hunt, but we have been assigned a task."23
    Julius (Jay) Poppinga is an elder at Grace Presbyterian Church in Montclair, New Jersey, and is chair of the Coalition's task force on church discipline. His role as a church litigator goes back to 1992, when he served as legal counsel for the ten Rochester, New York-area churches who took Downtown United Presbyterian Church to court over its installation of openly lesbian Jane Spahr.24 He is counsel for the complainants in both the Northern New England and Hudson River cases.
    Poppinga is a former senior partner and now Of Counsel for the Newark-based McCarter & English, the largest law firm in New Jersey.25 He has also served on the board of directors of the Duro-Test Corporation of North Bergen, New Jersey.26
    His leadership in the conservative judicial movement in the PC (USA) is a logical extension of his longtime leadership of a network of conservative evangelical attorneys called the Christian Legal Society (CLS)-of which he served as president from 1978 to 1981.27
    This network of Christian Right lawyers has been a leading player in the conservative drive to lower the wall of church/state separation as well as efforts to provide government funding for religious schools. Poppinga has also served as vice-chairman of CLS's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. He joined the board of directors of the Western Center for Law and Religious Freedom when it became a CLS affiliate in 1995.28
    Under Poppinga's leadership, in October 1980, CLS hired three younger attorneys -Thomas Brandon, Lawrence Eck, and Samuel Ericsson-who have since gone on to become important Christian right attorneys in their own right.29 Brandon came from the legal staff of Bill Bright's Campus Crusade for Christ. Lawrence Eck, a prominent trial lawyer, became a member of the steering committee of the theocratic Coalition on Revival in 1986 and signer of the 1986 COR manifesto calling for biblical government.30 Samuel Ericsson opened the CLS Washington office31 and became special counsel to the Center for Law and Religious Freedom.32 Following his tenure at CLS, Ericsson became president of Advocates International, a Virginia-based group that promotes right-wing legal principles and interests in Eastern Europe33 and elsewhere.34 Former Poppinga partner at CLS Lynn Buzzard (executive director from 1971 to 1985) is currently Director of Legal Education and Of Counsel at Advocates International.35
    Poppinga has also served in a number of leadership positions in the church. He chaired the General Assembly's Quadrennial Review Committee, which presented its report to the 1996 General Assembly in Albuquerque. In 1995, he guided a plan developed by the Genevans, a conservative polity reform group, through the General Assembly Polity Committee, which he chaired.36 This plan (Western Colorado Overture 95-74) was designed to radically decentralize the PC (USA) power structure on behalf of conservative forces, all in the name of "representation."37 It was approved by the General Assembly and remitted to Poppinga's Quadrennial Review Committee for implementation, but then severely curtailed in the Committee's final report to the 1996 General Assembly, which was accepted by commissioners.38
    Rev. James Tony, a taskforce member and pastor from Palos Park, Illinois, has assisted Julius Poppinga in the task force's advisory role, including the preparation of legal materials in the West Jersey case.39 Tony has served on the board of Presbyterians Pro-Life.40
    Walter E. Baker, a taskforce member since May 1999,41 is lead counsel in the Stamford case. Baker points out that his involvement in the Stamford case predates his membership on the taskforce and that the Coalition had "nothing whatsoever" to do with the case.42 Nevertheless, the Coalition is claiming some credit for the case. Gordon Fish, who presented the task force's achievements at the Coalition's 1999 conference, announced that it has "rendered assistance on each of the four cases at some level."43
    A prominent businessman, Baker was, among other things, senior vice president of Salomon, Inc., and a director of its subsidiary, Philipp Brothers, Inc., in the 1980s.44 Before its merger with Salomon in 1981, Philipp Brothers was the largest commodities brokerage firm in the world, with historic ties to Harry Oppenheimer's Anglo-American Corporation, the diamond and metals empire at the heart of the South African apartheid regime.45 Baker is currently president of Philipp Brothers, Inc.46
    Working out of Old Greenwich Presbyterian Church, in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, Baker's judicial activism highlights historical continuities that partially illuminate the conservative judicial agenda currently taking hold of the church. Nearby Noroton Presbyterian Church was home to three of the key founders of the Presbyterian Lay Committee in 1965: George Champion, chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank; Roger Hull, chairman and CEO of Mutual Life Insurance of New York, and Hugh McMillan, president of Coca-Cola Exports.
    The Coalition task force on church discipline has strong representation from the Presbyterian Lay Committee, including board members Don Hoffman (a spiritual mentor of Lay Committee chairman Robert Howard),47 Peggy Hedden (an attorney from Ohio), and Robert Fish (chairman of the Republican Party in Wood County, West Virginia).48
    Other right-wing elements are also evident in the judicial movement. William Prey, complainants' co-counsel in the Stamford case, recently represented One By One at a meeting of the conservative Presbyterian Renewal Network, held February 12, 1999, in Louisville, Kentucky.49 One By One is a relatively new "gay conversion" ministry within the Presbyterian renewal movement. Prey also endorsed a statement by the Presbyterian Renewal Network calling for funding limits and greater oversight of the National Network of Presbyterian College Women, part of a broader campaign against NNPCW led by the Presbyterian Lay Committee under the banner of stamping out the ReImagining movement. ReImagining is an exploratory feminist theology movement that became the focus of a national right-wing attack campaign led by the Presbyterian Lay Committee in the spring of 1994.50
    Prey and Baker are both members of Old Greenwich Presbyterian Church. Their pastor, Rev. Arthur Chartier, became a member of the board of Presbyterians Pro-Life in 1996.51 Since the late 1970s, Presbyterians Pro-Life has sought to reverse Presbyterian policy on reproductive rights, which became pro-choice in the early 1970s. Presbyterians Pro-Life, in turn, has emphasized the importance of church discipline in its literature.52 Rev. John Sheldon, a chief complainant in the West Jersey case, has also served on the board, and as vice president, of Presbyterians Pro-Life.53
    The charismatic wing of the renewal movement, as represented by Presbyterian & Reformed Renewal Ministries International (PRRMI), is also involved in the conservative judicial movement. Rev. Samuel Schreiner, chief complainant in the recently decided remedial case against the Presbytery of Northern New England, has worked closely with Brad Long, executive director of PRRMI. Long invited Schreiner to be part of a PRRMI revival in Taiwan in the Fall of 1992. At one point during the Taiwan revival Schreiner "collapsed in the Spirit" and had a vision of the church as a bubbling fountain toward which emaciated people were crawling from four directions.54 Subsequently, Schreiner's Londonderry Presbyterian Church has moved in a charismatic direction, and Schreiner has continued to work with PRRMI.55
    PRRMI has attacked women's ministries and the gay/lesbian movement in the church with particular vehemence. PRRMI has denounced the church's Women of Faith awards for recognizing, among other things, controversial lesbian church leader Jane Spahr.56 The organization is waging what they call a campaign of "spiritual warfare" against the "demonic stronghold" which they assert has taken hold of the church. "We believe strongly," states PRRMI, "that we have been led by the Holy Spirit to spend the money and time to call all the intercessors of PRRMI to also engage in this spiritual battle."57 Schreiner's alliance with this spiritual warfare movement in many ways epitomizes both the purgative right-wing agenda and the use of the judicial processes of the church to carry it out.
IV.) Hammering Home Injustice: Presbyterian Judicial Power in Historical Perspective
    The conservative movement in the church overlaps with the conservative movement generally. The judicial situation in the church, in certain respects, mirrors the role the courts have played in shaping fundamental civil rights in our society over the last 40 years, but in reverse: against civil rights, against social justice, and with the sanction of God rather than that of the state. Given the cultural authority of the Presbyterian church, as well as its historic role of supporting social progress, this judicial trend could set a regressive precedent in the context of ongoing challenges to civil rights, pluralism and democracy. These challenges arguably represent the core agenda of resurgent right-wing politics since the mid-1970s. The struggle for control of the Presbyterian Church could prove to be a watershed in the broader conservative effort to roll back the progress in civil and human rights that has marked the 20th century.
    Right-wing "dominionist" intellectual Gary North recently published a significant history of Presbyterian conflict, Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church.58 North details the modernist defeat of conservative orthodoxy within Presbyterianism, which culminated in the purge of J. Gresham Machen in 1936. The key aspect of conservative failure in this period, according to North, was a loyalist refusal to use judicial power to sanction and eliminate liberal control. To reverse this victory, it is clearly implied, purgative judicial power, this time exerted against "modernism," is the key.59 North's analysis is like a crystal ball into the current situation in the PC (USA). Indeed, Poppinga's judicial thinking is on a grand scale in the manner advocated by North.
    North's thousand page history is also a testament to the deeper political legacy of rightist obsession with mainline social witness. This 60-year legacy, whose chief benefactor, J. Howard Pew, underwrote the founding of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, has taken on many forms, including an extension into more mainstream pastoral forms. That ultra-rightist historian Gary North has spent years studying the "liberal triumph" in the Presbyterian church suggests the scale of what is at stake. His vision of church history is one in which successive mainline denominations are recaptured using political strategy and judicial power. He celebrated the first of these reversals-the fall of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1980s-as "the most remarkable ecclesiastical reversal of the past three centuries."60 The conservative judicial movement in the PC (USA) is one sign that mainline Presbyterianism may be next.
The Institute for Democracy Studies is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that conducts research on antidemocratic religious and political movements in the U.S. and internationally.  The Institute’s three program areas are Religion and Democracy, Reproductive Rights, and Law.  For further information, please contact: Frederick Clarkson, Director of Communications, Institute for Democracy Studies, 177 East 87th Street, Suite 501, New York, NY  10128.  Phone: 212-423-9237.  Fax: 212-423-9352.
1 This document can be found at the Presbyterian Coalition website:
2 Jennifer Files, “Conservative Groups Organize to Influence Assembly Debates,” The Presbyterian Outlook, See also Taking Aim: Conservatives’ Bid for Power in the Presbyterian Church Entering Advanced Stage, Institute for Democracy Studies, October 1999. This executive summary of a forthcoming IDS study can be ordered by contacting IDS, or downloaded from the web at
3 "The Presbyterian Coalition," letter dated April 30, 1998, The Presbyterian Layman,
4 The Presbyterian Layman, "The Radical Center," May/June 1998,
5 Presbyterian Coalition Gathering IV conference tape, "The Future of the Church," September 21, 1999.
6 Presbyterian Coalition, "Nomination for Presbyterian Coalition Board of Directors and/or Appointments to Task Forces," leaflet received September 22, 1999.
7 The Presbyterian Coalition, "The Renewal of Church Discipline," Turning Toward the Mission of God: A Strategy for the Transformation of the P.C.(U.S.A.) , 1998.
8 One By One, based in Rochester, N.Y., is a newer Presbyterian renewal group that promotes gay conversion therapy. The Coalition's disproportionate focus on sexuality is reflected in its highly topical inclusion of statements about sexuality in its theological charter, "Unity in Christ."
9 The Presbyterian Coalition, "The Renewal of Church Discipline," Turning Toward the Mission of God (1998).
10 John H. Adams, "A PCUSA Court Primer," The Presbyterian Layman, May 13, 1999,
11 Presbyterian Coalition Gathering IV conference tape, task force "Reports," September 22, 1999.
12 The Presbyterian Forum, "Stamford/Northern New England at Synod PJC," The Presbyterian Review, October 21, 1999, wupdates/oct2.htm.
13 See the official decision of the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Synod of the Northeast, In the Matter of the Appeal of Mairi Hair and James McCallum v. The Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford (CT), October 9, 1999,
14 Paula R. Kincaid, "PJC Decides Stamford Church May Install Gay Elder," The Presbyterian Layman, March 8, 1999,
15 See the official decision, The Session of the Londonderry Presbyterian Church, Londonderry, N.H., et al. v. The Presbytery of Northern New England, October 10, 1999,
16 Presbyterian Forum, "Hudson River Presbytery Considering Recommendation to Allow Ministers to Participate in 'Same-Sex Unions' in Church Sanctuaries," The Presbyterian Review, October 21, 1999,
17 See “A Report of the Council, Presbytery of Hudson River, January 5, 1999. www.
18 ibid.
19 The Presbyterian Forum, "Hudson River Presbytery's Action Major Discussion Point This Week," The Presbyterian Review, October 21, 1999,
20 Presbyterian Coalition Gathering IV conference tape, task force "Reports," September 22, 1999.
21 The Presbyterian Forum, "West Jersey Approves Candidate Who Affirmatively Intends to Violate G-6.0106b," The Presbyterian Review, October 21, 1999,
22 Christian Legal Society, 1996 Directory.
23 Presbyterian Coalition Gathering IV conference tape, taskforce “Reports,” September 22, 1999.
24 Hilary Appelman, "Dissenting Churches Oppose Appointment of Lesbian Minister," The Associated Press, May 19, 1992.
25 “Julius B. Poppinga,” Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, 1999.
26 Victor E. Sasson, “Duro-Test Gets New Board,” The Record, January 13, 1988. p. E19.
27 "Past Presidents of the Christian Legal Society," Quarterly, vol. 7, no. 3, Fall 1986, inside cover.
28 "Religious Freedom Defenders Join Forces," Quarterly, Summer 1995, p. B1.
29 Samuel B. Casey, “37 Years and Growing: Reflections on History at CLS,” Christian Legal Society website, August 2, 1999, The Christian Legal Society’s budget grew threefold between 1980 and 1982.
30 Coalition on Revival, brochure, 1986.
31 Ericsson left CLS in 1991 after spending ten years there in order to do liaison work with legal activists in Bulgaria and Albania. The Advocates International program for 1999 includes a trip by Ericsson to “lead a delegation from several major evangelical relief organizations that want to help post-war Albania,” as well as a law conference in that country. See Advocates International website , August 2, 1999, projectsfrm.htm; and www.advocatesinternational. org/Newsletters/newsjun99.htm.
32 Samuel B. Casey, "37 Years and Growing," Prior to taking up his position under Poppinga at CLS, Ericsson served from 1977 to 1980 as counsel and chief of staff for Grace Community Church, the largest fundamentalist church in Los Angeles, which was used as a model for how to run men’s shepherding networks in the early literature of the right-wing men’s organization Promise Keepers [see Pete Richardson, Focusing Your Men’s Ministry: A Strategy for Lay Leaders and Pastors (Boulder, Colorado: Promise Keepers, 1993), pp. 46-48]. In 1985 Ericsson served as a Christian Legal Society defense lawyer for Grace Community Church in a clergy malpractice suit brought by the family of Kenneth Nally, who committed suicide while under the pastoral care of the church [see Bill Girdner, "Did Pastors Spur Suicide?", The National Law Journal, May 13, 1985, p. 6]. Ericsson also launched a crisis pregnancy center in 1990, and remains active in its leadership. Before Poppinga brought him into CLS, Ericsson also served with the California Religious Organization Law Reform Commission. In 1983, after joining CLS, Ericsson filed separate amicus briefs defending Rev. Sun Myung Moon against charges of tax fraud, and sided with Bob Jones University [Bob Jones University vs. U.S. (USSC 1983)] over the Federal government’s denial of tax exemption on the grounds that the university engaged in race-based discrimination [see Ericsson’s curriculum vitae on Advocates International website, August 2, 1999,].
33 Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr currently serves on the 13 member board of Advocates International, as does Ron Nikkel, the president of Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship International. Its chairman is John E. Langlois, a deputy of parliament on the Isle of Guernsey (see www.advocates, August 2, 1999). Among the items listed in the 1997 financial disclosure form released in October 1998 by Starr was a $20,000 personal loan to Advocates International Inc [see “Inadmissible,” Legal Times, October 26, 1998].
34 For instance, in 1997 Ericsson facilitated briefs and antichoice strategy in South Africa. [].
35 Ibid., board list.
36 Parker T. Williamson, "General Assembly Calls for Representation Reform," The Presbyterian Layman, July/August 1995, p. 1.
37 Al Ruth, "Representation plan 'opens channels' for partnership," The Presbyterian Layman, September/ October 1995, pp. 6-7.
38 "Robert P. Mills," GA has mixed reaction to Review Committee report," The Presbyterian Layman, July/August 1996, p. 18.
39 Information and quotes from Presbyterian Coalition Gathering IV conference tape, task force "Reports," September 22, 1999.
40 Presbyterians Pro-Life Research, Education and Care, Inc., Form 990s, Internal Revenue Service, 1991, 1992, and 1993.
41 Telephone Interview, Walter Baker, October 29, 1999.
42 Telephone Interview, Walter Baker, October 1999.
43 Presbyterian Coalition Gathering IV, conference tape, taskforce “Reports” September 22, 1999.
44 “Salomon Inc.,” SEC Online, December 31, 1989.
45 Alan Cowell, "South Africa's Gold Colossus," The New York Times, November 18, 1985, p. D1. Baker was appointed controller of Engelhard Minerals & Chemicals Corporation back in 1978, which had earlier merged with Philipp Brothers [see Oil & Gas Journal, September 18, 1978, p. 220]. Charles Engelhard, who founded the Newark-based firm in 1907, was a close ally of Harry Oppenheimer in his building of the DeBeers and Anglo-American empire in South Africa [see Barbara Phillips, "Is the Diamond Mystique About to Crumble?", review of The Rise and Fall of Diamonds, by Edward Jay Epstein, in The Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 1982, p. 17].
46 Telephone interview with Walter Baker, October 29, 1999; Philipp Brothers, Inc., corporate record, California Secretary of State, March 5, 1998.
47 "Robert L. Howard," The Presbyterian Layman, January/February 1998,
48 Rocky Lantz, "Kime Thinks Tenure Limited," Parkersburg News, January 15, 1995, p. A1. In 1996, the state Republican convention in West Virginia, which was chaired by Robert Fish, featured a prayer breakfast keynoted by Accuracy in Media spokesman Dale Berryhill, who presented an address on "The Biblical Case for Christian Involvement. See Jack McCarthy, "Pritt and Underwood in Weekend Spotlight," The Charleston Gazette, July 18, 1996, p. P5B.
49 The Presbyterian Renewal Network, "Response to NNPCW Task Force Report," Presbyterian Renewal Network website, October 21, 1999,
50 Other signatories to Presbyterian Renewal Network's position on NNPCW included Parker Williamson (Presbyterian Lay Committee), Terry Schlossberg (Presbyterians Pro-Life), Robert Dooling (Presbyterian Forum), and Z. Bradford Long (Presbyterian and Reformed Renewal Ministries International. The Presbyterian Renewal Network, increasingly politicized under the influence of the Presbyterian Forum, recently announced its second annual "pre-assembly" training retreat, scheduled for early June, 2000, in Long Beach, California.
51 "PPL President Ben Sheldon Retires," Presbyterians Pro-Life News, Winter 1996, p. 12.
52 Presbyterians Pro-Life, "What Do Presbyterians Believe About Discipline?", Presbyterians Pro-Life website, October 26, 1999,
53 Presbyterians Pro-Life Research, Education and Care, Inc., Form 990s, Internal Revenue Service, 1991, 1992, 1993. Presbyterians Pro-Life Research, Education and Care, Inc., corporate record, Virginia Secretary of State, June 10, 1993.
54 Rev. Samuel A. Schreiner III, "God's Good Plans for LPC," Londonderry Presbyterian Church website, October 27, 1999,
55 Ibid.
56 Brad Long, “Woman of Faith Awards An Opportunity for Discernment,” November 2, 1999.
57 Presbyterian & Reformed Renewal Ministries International, letter to "Intercessors," July 27, 1999.
58 Gary North, Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1996).
59 Ibid., pp. 1-31.
60 Ibid., p. xvi.