The Nation

U.S. District Judge Frank Freedman ruled in Springfield, Mass., that a federal bankruptcy court judge was right in awarding Elizabeth Dovydenas of Lenox, Mass., the $6.6 million she gave The Bible Speaks church while a parishioner from 1983 to 1986. The judge wrote in the 38-page ruling that the church's leader, the Rev. Carl H. Stevens Jr., persuaded Dovydenas to give the Lenox-based church nearly a third of her fortune "even though he did not explicitly appeal to her for donations. . . . He reinforced her beliefs that her gifts could alter events in the world." Dovydenas had won her suit for the return of the gifts last April in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Worcester. Dovydenas, 34, is the daughter of one of the founders of the Dayton Hudson chain stores.

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