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July 14, 1999






Religious liberty groups tap Texans as leaders
___BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (ABP)--The Religious Liberty Council elected two new members to serve on the Baptist Joint Committee and paid tribute to three Baptist leaders who are retiring--James Dunn, Keith Parks and Dellanna O'Brien.
___The council, the individual membership arm of the BJC, met June 25 in Birmingham.
___It elected Toby Druin and Todd Heifner as members of the BJC, a religious-liberty agency in Washington.
___Druin is retired editor of the Baptist Standard and member of First Baptist Church in Duncanville. Heifner is director of endowment at Samford University.
___Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Coordinator Daniel Vestal and Suzii Paynter, an educational development consultant and member of First Baptist Church in Austin, were re-elected to terms on the BJC.
___Council members re-elected tri-chairs Patsy Ayres, an activist and member of First Baptist Church in Austin; Hardy Clemons, pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C.; and Gardner Taylor, pastor emeritus of Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, N.Y.
___Dunn, executive director of the BJC, will step down from the head post in September. He will continue to work with the agency as president of the BJC Foundation and will become visiting professor of Christianity and public policy at the Wake Forest Divinity School.
___Parks retired June 30 as the Fellowship's first global missions coordinator. Parks took the job in 1993, after serving 12 years as president of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board before taking early retirement.
___O'Brien recently announced that she would retire as head of the Woman's Missionary Union.
___Dunn told the crowd that for 19 years it has been "my good fortune to be a steward of the Baptist gift to the science of government, full-throated religious liberty and its essential corollary, the separation of church and state."

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