90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Southern Baptists To Elect African-American President

Pastor Fred Luter, of New Orleans, speaks to the crowd at the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix in 2011. (AP)

In New Orleans Tuesday, the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination which once so fiercely backed slavery and segregation that it split from its northern brethren, will elect an African-American as its president.

The Reverend Fred Luter, pastor of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, is 55. He grew up poor in the city and after a motorcycle accident that almost killed him, he says he gave his life to God.

Luter began preaching on street corners and the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church became one of the most well-attended and beloved churches in the South. The Southern Baptist Convention has been losing members over the years, making gains only among non-white ethnic and racial groups. Last year the church began to actively court non-whites for leadership positions and Luter, who impressed church leaders with his preaching and his embrace of conservative values, was tapped to ascend to the top spot.

Guest:

  • Adelle Banks, reporter with the Religion News Service

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • J__o__h__n

    The Southern Baptist Church may or may not still be racist, but they still hate gay people. 

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

September 1 4 Comments

Breastfeeding Gets A Boost From Philadelphia Hospitals

The city's major birthing hospitals have stopped sending new moms home with baby formula, to encourage breastfeeding.

August 29 Comment

World Championship Tug-Of-War Is ‘A Thing Of Beauty’

This weekend's competition in Wisconsin is a bit more intense than it was in your grade school gym class.

August 29 Comment

Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

August 28 3 Comments

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.