*You may or may not be aware that a black man, Rev. Fred Luter, is head of the overwhelmingly white Southern Baptist Convention. For the record, he’s the organization’s first ever black president.
It should come as no surprise that Rev. Luter is down with Phil Robertson‘s biblical views on homosexuality butparts ways with the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch’s memory of race relations before the Civil Rights movement.
*The Rev. Fred Luter knew that his election as the first African-American president of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination would make headlines, reports the Montgomery Advertiser.
But he couldn’t have predicted the whirlwind that his life has become over the past two months.
“It’s been nonstop, it’s been engaging, it’s been enlightening,” Luter said this week before preaching to a large crowd at Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn. It was one of many sermons he’s delivered recently to churches in the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention.
His election earned phone calls from President Barack Obama, and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s office, along with personal letters from former presidents Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. He’s been interviewed by several major media outlets and TV news magazines.
And three weeks ago, he was an honored guest at the North Carolina home of evangelist Billy Graham, an experience Luter described as “like meeting Moses for the first time.”
Read the full story at the Montgomery Advertiser.
*The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. well remembers the first time he ventured from his native New Orleans to preach in Crowley, a rice-growing town in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun country, reports The Los Angeles Times.
The pastor there had invited Luter to speak, but worried how the congregation would react.
“I told him, ‘Just don’t put my picture up,’ ” Luter recalled. “Just tell them I’m a leading Southern Baptist.”
Now Luter is poised to become the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination.
But back then, in the 1990s, he was still rising through church hierarchy and knew it would take time to win over a denomination born out of slaveholders’ obstinacy and perpetuated by segregationists.
The Crowley pastor took his advice.
“I’ll never forget when I walked through that church,” Luter said, chuckling.
Silence greeted him. But in his warm and conversational style, he preached his usual message: God loves us, all lives can be changed.
Read more at latimes.com.
*For the first time in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, a Black man has been elected into the 1st vice president position.
According to the Associated Press, the SBC elected Fred Luter to the position on Tuesday at their annual conference in Phoenix. The 54-year-old Luter has been the head pastor of an SBC affiliate church in New Orleans since 1986.
Some convention leaders are hoping his election will mean a rise to the top spot next year when the 2012 convention is held in his hometown.
In recent years, the SBC has seen a decline in overall membership and attendance. At the meeting in Phoenix on Tuesday and Wednesday, delegates were considering a resolution that aims to help diversify the denomination.