SBC Pastors Agreeable to African American Leader

Rev. Fred Luter Jr. is in line to be the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Southern Baptist Convention may soon have its first African-American president. Ahead of the denomination’s national meeting next month, a poll has been released showing Southern Baptist pastors support the idea.

Of the 1,000 church leaders surveyed by LifeWay Research, half strongly agreed and another third somewhat agreed that having a black leader would be a “good thing.”

The Nashville-based SBC remains 80-percent white after being founded out of racial divides in the mid-1800s. Now, Rev. Fred Luter of New Orleans is in line for the top post. He was interviewed on PBS this month.

“It’s a new day in the Southern Baptist Convention. Our doors are open to each and everybody.”

Pollster Ed Stetzer says it’s possible that some pastors answered the survey question the way they did because they thought a black leader would be what he calls a “positive pivot point.” Either way, Stetzer calls it a “sign of remarkable progress.”

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