DALLAS -- A Georgia clergyman has been named senior minister of First United Methodist Church to replace Walker Railey, who resigned in the wake of an unsolved attack that left his wife comatose.

United Methodist Bishop John Russell said his appointment of Hal N. Brady III, senior minister of the 2,400-member Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church of Atlanta, is to be effective Dec. 13.

Railey resigned from the ministry Sept. 2, about 4 1/2 months after he told police that he found his wife Margaret unconscious in their garage. She is still in a coma.

Dallas police indicate they have been stymied in their efforts to determine who choked Margaret Railey with a thin wire or cord because her husband has refused to clear up what they say are discrepancies in his account of his activities on April 22, the night of the attack.

During an appearance July 29 before a Dallas County grand jury, sources said, Railey refused to answer questions on grounds that he would incriminate himself.

Railey was given a leave of absence from the church after the attack on his wife and his own subsequent suicide attempt and self-imposed stay at Timberlawn Psychiatric Center. He was dropped from the church payroll Aug. 31.