Date published: August 22, 2012
* Luke A. Powery, an assistant professor of homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of two books on preaching, has been named dean of Duke University Chapel as of September 1. Powery, 38, was raised in the Pentecostal and holiness traditions and ordained by the National Progressive Baptist Convention. He succeeds Samuel Wells, who recently returned to England to become vicar of St. Martin-in-theFields in London. Duke is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but services at the 1,600-seat Duke Chapel are ecumenical. Powery will oversee a staff of 25 as well as help integrate academic, religious and ethical discussions. "Luke Powery is a compelling preacher whose gifts of mind and heart will be evident to all who hear him," said Duke president Richard Brodhead on July 25. Powery earned degrees at Stanford, Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Toronto's Emmanuel College. He was one of the editors of the new Common English Bible.
* As he competes against a Mormon in the presidential election, President Obama has appointed the first Mormon member of his White House faithbased council. He is Steven E. Snow, the official historian of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a member of the church's First Quorum of the Seventy, a priesthood order of teachers and administrators. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican and a Mormon, said that "Elder Snow's appointment ensures that the LDS faith will have a seat at the table." The advisory council's roles include identifying ways to improve implementation of public policies related to faith-based groups.
* The Anglican Church of South Africa made history by electing the first female Anglican bishop on the continent. Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya, 61, became the bishop-elect of Swaziland and the first woman bishop in any of the 12 Anglican provinces in Africa, according to Episcopal News Service. Her election July 18 comes as the Anglican Church of Southern Africa- which includes Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho- commemorates 20 years since the ordination of women to the priesthood. Wamukoya was not initially a candidate, but after seven rounds of ballots, fresh nominations were invited from the assembly. She succeeds Meshack Mabuza, who was elected bishop of Swaziland in 2002. Wamukoya is currently chaplain at the University of Swaziland and St. Michael's High School in Manzini, Swaziland. She also serves as chief executive officer of the City Council in Manzini.