Rev. Fred Luter, pastor of the Franklin Ave. Baptist Church, delivers a sermon during Sunday Services at the Church in New Orleans, Sunday, June 3, 2012. The new face of a Christian denomination that formed on the wrong side of slavery before the Civil War could be an African-American preacher who grew up in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. The Southern Baptist Convention holds its annual meeting in New Orleans next week and it could see the election of Luter as president. Faced with growing diversity in America and declining membership in its churches, the denomination is making a sincere effort to distance itself from its troubled racial past. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Rev. Fred Luter, pastor of the Franklin Ave. Baptist Church, delivers a sermon during Sunday Services at the Church in New Orleans, Sunday, June 3, 2012. The new face of a Christian denomination that formed on the wrong side of slavery before the Civil War could be an African-American preacher who grew up in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. The Southern Baptist Convention holds its annual meeting in New Orleans next week and it could see the election of Luter as president. Faced with growing diversity in America and declining membership in its churches, the denomination is making a sincere effort to distance itself from its troubled racial past. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press .
published Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
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The Southern Baptist Convention voted today to elect its first African-American president in one of its biggest steps yet to reconcile the 167-year-old denomination’s racial past and appeal to a more diverse group of believers.

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