Council of Churches to name award for founder

Posted: Friday, October 15, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) The National Council of Churches will memorialize co-founder and former President J. Irwin Miller with an annual award honoring people working on Christian unity and social issues.

Miller, the former chairman of Cummins Engine Co., was an alternate delegate from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to the council's constituting convention in 1950 and the council's first lay president from 1960 to 1963. He was 95 when he died Aug. 16.

The Rev. Shanta D. Premawardhana, director of the council's interfaith relations commission, announced the award at an appearance last week before the Columbus Interfaith Forum in Miller's hometown.

''Not only was he a great businessman and philanthropist, but he was a great churchman,'' Premawardhana said.

The first award will be presented at the council's general assembly in St. Louis Nov. 9-11.

The council represents 36 mainline Protestant and Orthodox Christian denominations.

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