Pioneer Ethicist

Wins $1 Million-Plus

The Rev. Holmes Rolston III, a Colorado State University pioneer in environmental ethics and a Virginia native, has been named this year's recipient of a religion prize billed as the world's richest annual award.

Rolston was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities, a redefined version of the more general Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion that was presented through 2001. The prize, announced last week, is 725,000 British pounds, roughly $1.2 million.

Rolston said at a news conference that he would use all the prize money to endow a chair in religion and science at his alma mater, Davidson College in North Carolina.

"I've spent my life in a lover's quarrel, not with my wife of four decades but with the two disciplines I love: science and religion," Rolston said. "I had to fight -- or maybe better, challenge -- both theology and science to love nature."

The son and grandson of clergymen, Rolston, now 70, is a native of Rockbridge Baths, Va., and a former pastor at Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church in Bristol. He has taught philosophy since 1968 at Colorado State in Fort Collins, where he holds the title of university distinguished professor.

He will receive the award at a private ceremony May 7 at Buckingham Palace in London.

-- Associated Press

Bible Wish Granted

An ill Texas teenager recently chose to supply Bibles to African pastors when he was granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Steven Downey, 16, was honored last month at the Reformed Church of Plano, Tex., by officials of the church, the International Bible Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, and African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries.

Steven's Hodgkin's disease was diagnosed in July 2002. He learned through his church that the African leadership group, which trains pastors and ministry leaders, needed Bibles. When the North Texas chapter of Make-A-Wish offered to grant him a wish, Downey asked to provide study Bibles. The organization delivered 210 French Bibles to pastors in Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Steven Downey is a young man working diligently to reach the next generation for God," Tom Youngblood, the bible society's vice president of outreach, said in a statement.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which began in 1980, grants wishes of children with life-threatening diseases. It was inspired by a 7-year-old boy with leukemia who wished to be a police officer for a day.

-- Religion News Service

Divorce Agreement

Imprisoned former National Baptist Convention (USA) leader Henry J. Lyons and his wife, Deborah, have reached a divorce agreement.

Lyons, who is serving prison time in Florida on grand theft and racketeering charges, reached an agreement with his ex-wife, who had stood by him during two years of federal and state investigations and trials. Lyons sued for divorce in 2001, demanding that his wife pay him alimony and repay part of more than $6 million he owes victims in judgments and liens, court records show. In the agreement, the former Baptist leader accepted responsibility for that debt and $20,496 in unpaid state taxes.

The couple shared payment of a $2,500 American Express bill and divided life insurance annuities, court documents show. Their St. Petersburg, Fla., home, jewelry, cars and a $700,000 home Lyons owned with another woman were seized by the U.S. government.

Henry Lyons is serving his sentence at the Bartow Work Release Center. He is scheduled to be released Nov. 30.

-- Religion News Service