Southern Baptists Name First Black President

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NEW ORLEANS -- The Southern Baptist Convention has elected its first black president.

Fred Luter, Jr. is a New Orleans pastor and was the only candidate on the ballot when the convention took its vote.

Tuesday's big news from the Southern Baptist Convention began making headlines long before it actually happened.

Luter is leader of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church has a history of firsts. He was the first black pastor to deliver the convention sermon and to be elected vice president of the group.

"An amazing man and an amazing story," said former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who knows Luter personally.

"He was a street preacher first, and now he has built this incredible congregation. And he is going to be president of Southern Baptists. I mean if that is not God at work, then I don't know what you can say other than it is absolutely amazing," Nagin added.

"I wish Fred the best," he said. "He is very deserving, and he will provide great leadership for that organization."

Nagin also pointed out a significance to the date of the election, June 19. The day is often called Juneteenth in the black community and set aside to celebrate the end of slavery in America.

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