Southern Baptist Convention Day 3: A Historic Day

Tuesday began the actual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans. This is where all of the entities of the SBC give a report of what has happened the previous year and also give a glimpse of where they see things going the next year. Depending on how you look at it, this meeting can be boring as you hear all the figures or exciting as you see the direction the ministries of the SBC are going.

The exciting part of the day came with the election of the new President of the SBC. This year there was only one candidate on the ballot: Fred Luter, Jr. Luter is the pastor at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA. He had previously served as the 1st Vice President of the SBC. From all these details, one would have a hard time realizing what all the hype is about.

The key element is that Fred Luter, Jr is now the first African American President of the SBC.

In our day where racial lines are guarded greatly, this election is a move by the SBC to show that we have come a long way from where we were. One of the biggest black eyes of the SBC was that a main issue at its beginning was that the SBC was in favor of slavery. In 1995, the SBC took a step in the right direction with a resolution that was passed at the annual meeting declaring the wrongs of the SBC in the past concerning racism and seeking forgiveness.

Today's unanimous vote for Fred Luter, Jr was another step in showing that the SBC has its focus in the right direction. Jesus died for the world - that is all races. One thing I would like to point out though is that I firmly believe that this was NOT a political vote. Luter is one of the finest preachers I have had the opportunity to hear. He has had the leadership skills to take a dying church in one of the toughest areas of the country and make it a mega-church before and after Hurricane Katrina. There's no doubt that God has His hand on Fred Luter and has equipped him for this position as the President of the SBC.

My prayers and support go to my brother. I look forward to serving with him at the helm of our denomination.