Date published: May 3, 2011
* The Salvation Army has elected Commissioner Linda Bond, 64, as the new general for the London-based international church and charity- only the third time in the evangelical organization's 146-year history that it will be headed by a woman. Early in her service, the Nova Scotia native was territorial commander for the Salvation Army in the western U.S. when the widow of McDonald's owner Ray Kroc bequeathed $1.5 billion to the organization for community centers, principally in inner-city areas. Bond took office as the church's top general on April 2. It has been 18 years since now-retired General Eva Burrows was in the post.
* Historian Edwin Gaustad, an influential author on religion in America, died March 25 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at age 87. His books include A Religious History of America, Dissent in American Religion, Faith of the Founders and Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America. Gaustad was an expert witness in the 2002 trial after the ACLU and other groups sued Judge Roy Moore, who refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama. Bruce Gonnley, executive director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society, told Associated Baptist Press that Gaustad was a prominent voice for church-state separation while conservative Baptists "turned their backs on their denomination's freedom legacy" of opposing government endorsement of organized religion. Gaustad taught at the University of Redlands (1957-1965), then at nearby University of California, Riverside, until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1989.