Today, in all likelihood, the Southern Baptist Convention will elect an African-American as its first president in its 167 year history.
That says a lot about a group that has its roots in the politics of slavery.
The Southern Baptist Convention began in 1845 largely due to the refusal of Northern Baptists to recognize slave owners as missionaries. For over 150 years, the Convention remained silent on the issue. Over the past two decades, though, the Convention has taken steps to recant its past. At its 150th anniversary meeting in 1995, it passes a resolution of apology and reconciliation for its racist past.
Fred Luter helped write it.
Today, Fred Luter Jr., pastor of New Orleans’ Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, is unopposed for election as president. Perhaps the most eloquent description of Luter was given by Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay – read it here.
I’ve always loved history – but it’s really exciting being a part of it.