In front of 4,000 members of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination on Tuesday, Reverend Fred Luter was elected vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Luter, the head pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, is the first elected Black pastor—a decision that is being called historic by church leaders.
Luter’s election comes as the Southern Baptist Convention is making a push for greater participation among non-white members. Eleven resolutions have been passed in the last few decades seeking “greater ethnic participation,” in the predominately white denomination. While overall membership has declined, minority membership has increased from 13% to 18.5%, according to Southern Baptist Leaders.
(Photo: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)