One man was charged with murder Friday in the beating death of an 8-year-old girl whose father founded the controversial Ecclesia Athletic Association.

Authorities later rounded up 55 children from a farm used by the group as a training camp.The children - 31 boys and 24 girls - were taken into protective custody by deputy sheriffs for placement in foster care until their parents can be contacted. Most of the children are believed to be from the Los Angeles area.

"Some are victims of physical abuse and there are observations of injuries," said Sgt. Floyd Marsh of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department.

Marsh said the children ranged in age from 3 months to 16 years, including two infants and two toddlers. "Most of them are between 5 and 10," he said.

The children were taken into custody at a farm - east of Portland in the town of Sandy - where members of the Ecclesia Athletic Association settled in 1987 and established a camp to train young athletes from the inner city of Los Angeles.