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Posts Tagged ‘Southern Baptist Convention’

Pastor Fred Luter set to become first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)

Fred Luter
Today will be a historic day to remember as the Southern Baptist Convention is posed to elect its first African-American president, a pastor from Louisiana, Fred Luter.

Luter, who is running unopposed, is expected to be elected at today’s convention meeting in New Orleans.

Last year, Luter made history when the SBC elected him as first vice president, the denomination’s second-highest post. He was the first African American elected to that position. Just a decade earlier, Luter was the first African American to preach the convention sermon, which also occurred in New Orleans.

Luter gained respect in the SBC by attracting young black males to his church in New Orleans, and by sticking with his church after the city was leveled by Hurricane Katrina.

One thing is for certain, the new generation of Baptists looks quite different than the one before it.
The SBC was founded in 1845 after a split with northern Baptists over the issue of slavery. In 1995, the convention passed a resolution publically apologizing for its participation in slavery and Jim Crow laws.

“It’s going to be historical because there’s never been an African-American president in the Southern Baptist Convention, so it’s going to be a historical day,” WDSU News quoted Pastor Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans as saying. “I am still the only announced candidate in this convention which is amazing to me.”
It was amazing, the 55-year-old black pastor explained, “to have a descendant of former slaves to be president of this convention… It’s making world news.”

Luter, meanwhile, is trying to keep expectations about his presidency low. “I don’t think it will change drastically but I do think there will be a change, where African-Americans who really never considered being part of the SBC will now look at it,” he said.

Congratulations Pastor Fred Luter!

Fred Luter, voted to highest ranking post for a African-American in the SBC

Pastor Fred Luter
Last month New Orleans pastor Fred Luter, Jr. was voted, highest ranking African American in the Southern Baptist church. While his roots are in New Orleans, Luter is a respected preacher throughout the country.

Luter’s has accomplished what many could only dream of after joining Franklin Avenue Baptist Church as pastor in 1986. Before that time he had no pastoral experience. In 1992, Luter was the first African-American to be elected to the Executive Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. He continued to make waves in the black community when, less than a decade later, he was the first African-American to preach the Southern Baptist Convention Message (June 2001).

Under his leadership, FABC has become the largest Southern Baptist church in Louisiana. The number of black churches in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, makes up less than ten percent of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Luter said it doesn’t make him uncomfortable that people want to see this as a milestone for African-Americans.

“There’s no way we can get around it. Here’s a convention that started on slavery. Years later you have an African-American one step away from the presidency. I can’t deny that,” Luter said.

His election paves the way to an elevation to the top position of president when the denomination holds its annual meeting next year in New Orleans.

David S. Dockery, the president of SBC-affiliated Union University in Jackson, Tenn., tweeted moments after the voting results were announced: “Hope he will be elected president next year in New Orleans!”

The number of baptisms done in 2010 was the lowest since the 1950s. With the election of Luter to such a high position, many believe it is the SBC’s effort to add diversity to it’s leadership and flock. Congratulations to Fred Luter and we wish him the best of luck~~(including with the 2012 election in New Orleans)