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The Rev. Herbert D. Valentine of Baltimore was elected Wednesday to lead the 2.9 million members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

"I am very humbled, very surprised," Valentine said after his election on the second ballot at the church's 203rd General Assembly. "My seminary professors must be shaking their heads at this very moment.Valentine, who is considered a moderate, takes over the church at a time when members are tackling tough issues such as the church's stance on sexuality, declining membership and the environment.