The Rev. Jeb Stuart Magruder, a Watergate conspirator who became a minister after his release for prison, said Americans appear to be turning away from material concerns.

"My life has been up and down like a cork," Magruder said Friday at the national convention of the Religious Public Relations Council in Dayton, Ohio. "But what my own life I think does say is that this country is still a great country because it has opportunity."His life, he said, is devoted to "life beyond the material."

"My church is bulging every single Sunday because they want to hear about something beyond themselves," he said.

Magruder pleaded guilty in 1973 to conspiracy and perjury charges stemming from the June 1972 break-in at offices of the Democratic Party at the Watergate complex in Washington. He entered a Presbyterian seminary after serving seven months in prison.

He earns $77,000 a year as minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Ky.