New York Times covers Luter election, Mohler gives comments in story

Communications Staff — June 19, 2012

The New York Times published a story this week about New Orleans pastor Fred Luter and his imminent election as the Southern Baptist Convention’s first African-American president. The election will be held during the denomination’s annual meeting in New Orleans, June 19-20, 2012.

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. gives comment in the article about the significance of Luter’s likely election for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC):

“It’s a shift from institutionalized racism and resistance to the civil rights movement among the vast majority of its members to the eager embrace of America as it is becoming.”

The Times article recognizes Luter’s election as a milestone for Southern Baptists, noting that the denomination in 1845 was originally formed in defense of owning slaves and has since then been the spiritual home primarily of white people. Nevertheless, as the article reports, SBC churches have made efforts to reach people from various ethnic backgrounds.

“If, as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said of the nation’s churches, Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America,” the article’s author Erik Eckholm writes, “the Southern Baptists have carried a special burden, giving added resonance to this week’s election.”

The entire article, “Southern Baptists Set for a Notable First,” is available at The New York Times website.

More information about the 2012 SBC annual meeting is available at, which includes live video streaming of this week’s proceedings.

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