Skip to comments.Not Your Grandfather's Southern Baptist [SBC poised to elect first black president]
Posted on 03/02/2012 3:03:58 PM PST by rhema
For months, the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention has been debating whether to drop the word "Southern" from its name. But last week, citing the hassle and expense, leaders abandoned this attempt to scrub the racial overtones from the convention's image. As it turns out, the SBC is poised to do something much more significant.
Meet the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., pastor of New Orleans's 4,500-member Franklin Avenue Baptist Churchand the man who this spring will likely become the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He announced last month that he was putting himself in the running, and the convention's movers and shakers seem almost unanimous in their support.
The SBC was born in 1845 after Baptists from the Northern states refused to appoint slaveholders to missionary posts, and the Southern states decided to break off. Like many Protestant denominations in America that split over the issue of slavery, the Baptists remained separate long after the Civil War. Though the leadership of the SBC supported an end to segregation even before Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the denomination's churches in many cases remained hotbeds of racial animus.
It wasn't until 1995 that the SBC issued a resolution on racial reconciliation. As Richard Land of the convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission explains, "Before that, what we had never done was accept responsibility, apologize and ask for forgiveness." Since then, the SBC's black membership has grown from about 337,000 to one million.
Mr. Luter, 55, came to Franklin Avenue Baptist Church 30 years ago from the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, where, after an almost fatal motorcycle accident, he had found God and a calling as a street preacher. (It's why he preaches fast, he explains: "You have to when you're trying to reach people just
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
I don’t know anything about him. Is he conservative?
It’s not MY Baptist church anymore either. And it has nothing to do with race. It’s the wimpiness I’m sick of.
Mr. Luter says he does not preach much about politics, though he does inveigh regularly against abortion and gay marriage. How his voice will play in national politics is an interesting question.
It seems unlikely that he'll be heeding President Obama's recent call to black church leaders to organize on his behalf. And the SBC has been clear in its opposition to what it sees as the president's recent infringements on religious liberty. In a year when liberals will be leveling the charge of racism against opponents of the president's policies, we can look forward to seeing their reaction to Fred Luter Jr.
See post 3; this guy doesn’t seem to be a shrinking violet when it comes to denouncing cultural evils.
If you want real wimpiness, I suggest the ELCA and the Episcopalians.
I like Charles Stanley. I wonder if Fred is anything like him?
the headline, it’s need to exist and the fact it does insults me...This is religion...blind to color. This man qualifies or he does not.
This also from his church's web page: Pastor Luter wants the congregation to remember Franklin Avenue is not in competition with other churches. He wants members to "continue to stay focused on what God has called us to do as a church." That calling is embodied in the church mission statement: to spiritually impact our families, neighborhoods, city and state by exalting the Savior, equipping the saints and evangelizing the sinners."
Most mainline denominations get a case of the vapors when they hear phrases like "evangelizing the sinners."
Just please tell me he’s not anything like Obama. I can’t take another first black whatever if they’re anything like that monster.
My church in Thompsons Station is not wimpy but the leadership about 40 miles up Highway 31 in Music City sure as Hades is
it is sickening
I mean where do we go?
Southern style Church of Christ seem steadfast
or most Assemblies of God...or Missionary Baptist
the fact they even considered dropping Southern from the name is a vile vile attempt...I spit on them
my old preacher in Jackson MS...Joe Tuten..long deceased would be appalled
I could care less about the black guy except it is without question a PR stunt...fools
Blacks already have National Baptist Convention also in Nashville and seem quite content with it
Wimpy compared to what?
How do you get more conservative than Southern Baptists?
If he, as the article states, “inveighs regularly against abortion and gay marriage,” he’s already light years from Obama in several moral aspects.
The leadership do not elect the officers, the messengers do.
I do not believe that this a PR stunt. This guy seems solid to me.
Not questioning him..he could be great
but why a black guy?...and why right now
to make a point...as usual...just like taking “Southern” from the name...the SBC leadership has been overrun with race sensitive under 45 folks...this has been brewing a while
how many SBC black preachers are there...not many...they choose other denominations..all day church..lotsa singing and louder....more podium Swaggerting..fine...enjoy it and stay there
it’s like NASCAR...why change something blacks ain’t drawn to...why force it
when the SBC gets all PC...you know it’s over
I am not the least bit ashamed to be Southern...if that is a n issue for anyone... Mohler in particular..or any other SBC big wig
they can kiss my butt
what they really want to do eventually is take Baptist out too
more members...more power...that’s what they really want
and they hide this lust claiming they can save more souls that way...disgusting
there is a reason I go to church less than my wife
The Southern Baptist Convention is not a governing authority nor are individuals members of the S.B.C.. Individual churches may affiliate and become members of the S.B.C. and individual churches are autonomous.
I don't know much about the guy in the article but I will learn more. I'd venture a guess that he's not liberal though. If he ever started spouting liberalism, member churches would disaffiliate in droves
The leadership engineers the process. The messengers hardly know what is going on or who they are voting for.
Whatever Luter is, he is wanted for the symbolism and because he won’t rock the boat. The current leadership is betraying the rank and file in many ways (this is not a comment on Luter).
In most such organizations the main concern of the “leadership” is the funding so that they can continue to be “leaders” even if they are clueless about their “leadership.”
If you are talking about the liberal "churches" they think their calling includes equipping the sinners and evangelizing the saints."
Absolutely correct in the case of the SBC - it is funding and maintaining phony membership numbers so they get to appear important...
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