- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 27, 2006

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — The Rev. Robert Bilheimer, a Presbyterian minister who arranged for religious leaders to oppose the war in Vietnam and apartheid in South Africa, died Dec. 17 of complications from a hip fracture and the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, his son said. He was 89.

Mr. Bilheimer organized the first meeting of the World Council of Churches in 1948. The council, made up of 340 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 100 countries, is a broad movement with the goal of Christian unity.

He became an associate general secretary of the council and organized the 1960 mission for the South African members, which led to a proclamation rejecting all religious arguments supporting apartheid.

Mr. Bilheimer wrote several books, including “The Quest for Christian Unity,” “What Must the Church Do?” and “Christians and the Prevention of War in the Atomic Age.”

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