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Jim Andrews remembered as 'an exemplar of unity'

New York, March 9, 2006 -- National Council of Churches USA officials released the following statements on the death March 7 of the Rev. James E. Andrews, retired Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Dr. Belle Miller McMaster, former Vice President of the National Council of Churches USA, who will represent the NCC at James Andrews' funeral March 12, 2006, in the Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, Decatur, Ga., said:

Jim Andrews was the virtual exemplar of church unity, both in his own church and among the widely varied traditions of Christianity. He served on the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches through all the years he was Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and his passion was to help all of us see that working together is the best way to proclaim the one Gospel.

Jim Andrews was many things in his life: a husband, a father, a pastor, a denominational administrator, a civil rights leader, a humanitarian, and, we thank God, an ecumenist. He understood that to get divergent groups to do what God wants, a leader has to be both an aggravator and a healer. In the end, he will be remembered as the one who healed rifts and opened others, and in the process brought so many of us together to do what God wants.

National Council of Churches President, the Rev. Michael Livingston, a Presbyterian clergyman, said, We've lost a dedicated ecumenist, a great Presbyterian leader, and a fine human being. Jim could speak a hard truth in love and he could laugh, as easily at himself as with others. He was tough and tender and he will be remembered long and well. We offer his family the reassurance of Christ's sure promise that nothing in this world or the world to come can separate us from God's love. In the spirit of Christian unity, your brothers and sisters of the 35 member communions of the National Council of Churches USA extend condolences to all of you in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in this time of loss.

Andrews, 77, was struck by a car and killed March 7 as he walked near his home in Decatur, Ga. See

Contact NCC News: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2252; or Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350


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