Conservative announces bid to be Presbyterians' chief executive

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2004

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (AP) The Rev. Robert Davis, who runs a conservative caucus in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has announced that he's running to become the denomination's ''stated clerk,'' or chief executive.

The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, a veteran Presbyterian executive, is completing his second four-year term as stated clerk at church headquarters in Louisville, Ky. He hasn't said whether he will be a candidate for re-election in balloting at the Presbyterians' national assembly from June 26 to July 3 at Richmond, Va.

Kirkpatrick has come under fire from some conservatives who say he should enforce the church constitution's ban on actively homosexual clergy and lay officers, though Davis' announcement did not mention that dispute.

Last month, Davis criticized local Presbyterian agencies for approving assignment of clergy to two independent groups working to overturn the gay ban while acting against clergy in groups on the opposite side.

Davis, 39, a one-time Indianapolis attorney who then attended Fuller Theological Seminary, is executive director of Presbyterian Forum, an information and lobbying group based in San Marcos. He is also associate pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Escondido.

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