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TULSA, Okla. More than 50 people have been suggested for or have shown interest in the Oral Roberts University presidency, according to the presidential search consultant.

TULSA, Okla.     More than 50 people have been suggested for or have shown interest in the Oral Roberts University presidency, according to the presidential search consultant.

School leaders hope to hire a new president by next summer, although consultant Bruce Dingman, president of The Dingman Co. Inc., said the university is not creating an artificial deadline for accepting resumes.

ORU is looking for a new leader following Richard Roberts’ resignation last fall after intense publicity over lawsuits, which raised allegations he misspent university money and poorly managed the school – allegations he denied.

The school’s board of regents was replaced by a board of trustees, which is working to stabilize ORU’s finances and institute shared responsibility among trustees, administrators and faculty.

Rhae Buckley, a member of the presidential search committee and chairman of the ORU Alumni Association board of directors, said he thinks the most important qualification is servant-leadership.

The job description calls for a man or woman who has had a "significant leadership position in a fairly large, complex organization" and who is a good speaker, "devoted Christian," planner, visionary, team-builder and good fundraiser, among many more qualifications.

Maryland church serving homeless to sue town BALTIMORE – An Elkton, Md., church focused on serving the homeless is suing the town of Elkton because civil libertarians and church leaders say the town is hindering the church’s expression of faith.

Carl Mazza, pastor of the Meeting Ground, said Elkton officials have blocked attempts by the church to open a day center for homeless men and women. The Mary Randall Empowerment Center would provide religious, employment and social needs for homeless men and women.

The church already owns property zoned for use by churches and businesses but Elkton’s zoning board required the center to have a special zoning exception.

A statement from the American Civil Liberties Union said the zoning board isn’t recognizing the center as a religious institution but instead as a social or philanthropic organization.

When the Meeting Ground revised its application, the town zoning board denied it.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

AP

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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