Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.


  • Adelle Banks, reporter with the Religion News Service

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

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

October 2 5 Comments

Study: Chemo Unnecessary In Many Cases Of Early-Stage Breast Cancer

A new study finds that many women with early stage breast cancer don't benefit from chemotherapy.

October 2 3 Comments

Fishing For Gold After Viral Video Fame

The video of a Boston-area man's incredulous and expletive-laden discovery of a sunfish has gone viral. What happens now?

October 1 Comment

A Rare Bipartisan Effort To Reform The Criminal Justice System

The legislation would reduce mandatory minimums for certain drug offenses and largely ban solitary confinement for juveniles.

October 1 42 Comments

What Does It Mean To Raise A Spiritual Child?

Psychologist Lisa Miller discusses the scientific link between spirituality and health, and how it relates to children.