Embattled Official Seeks to Retain Post

Religion News Service

Despite being engulfed in scandal, it appears the Rev. Henry J. Lyons will try to retain the presidency of the National Baptist Convention, USA, which holds its annual meeting next week in Kansas City, Mo.

Moreover, say officials of one of the nation's largest black denominations, Lyons may be planning to seek a second five-year term in the church's 1999 presidential election.

Last year's annual meeting was overshadowed by allegations of Lyons' marital infidelity and financial impropriety. Lyons repeatedly denied the accusations that arose after his wife set fire last summer to a pricey home he had co-purchased with a female denominational official.

Since then, the allegations have become legal charges against Lyons. He now faces federal and state charges that include grand theft, fraud and conspiracy stemming from accusations that he and some of his aides gained money in the denomination's name and used it for personal luxuries.

He has yet to go to trial in either the federal or state cases.

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