The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


First for Southern Baptists

Fred Luter was elected June 19 as the first African-American president of the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention.

Luter, 55, a former street preacher who brought his mostly African-American New Orleans congregation back from near annihilation after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, will lead the nation's largest Protestant denomination for at least a year.

Most Southern Baptist presidents traditionally serve two one-year terms. Many said it was long time for such a move for a denomination that was born in 1845 in a defense of slavery.


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