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Senator's resolution applauds Luter election
Sen. Mary Landrieu
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Posted on Jul 11, 2012 | by Staff

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP) -- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D.-La., has introduced a congressional resolution congratulating the Southern Baptist Convention for electing as president Fred Luter Jr., the first African American to hold the post.

Landrieu notes the historical significance of Luter's election and honors the SBC's commitment to ethnic inclusion. Luter is pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.

"Whereas the election of Reverend Luter brings great pride and honor to the membership of the Southern Baptist Convention," the resolution reads in part, "be it resolved that the Senate congratulates the Southern Baptist Convention for electing Reverend Fred Luter, Jr., as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention; acknowledges Reverend Luter's unique role as the first African-American leader of the Southern Baptist Convention; and honors the commitment of the Southern Baptist Convention to an inclusive faith-based community and society."

Landrieu notes the SBC's 1978 resolution against racism and its 1995 resolution apologizing for slavery as well as Luter's role in resurrecting Franklin Avenue Baptist Church from the destruction of 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

The June 29 resolution, the full text of which follows, was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and does not require the approval of the House of Representatives.

RESOLUTION

Congratulating the Southern Baptist Convention for electing Reverend Fred Luter, Jr., as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, acknowledging Reverend Luter's unique role as the first African-American leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, and honoring the commitment of the Southern Baptist Convention to an inclusive faith-based community and society.

Whereas the Southern Baptist Convention formed in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, in opposition to the abolition of slavery;

Whereas the Southern Baptist Convention supported racial segregation for much of the twentieth century;

Whereas the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution stating that the Convention sought to purge itself and society of all racism in 1978;

Whereas the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution denouncing racism as a deplorable sin in 1995;

Whereas, in 2012, the Southern Baptist Convention is a cooperative of more than 45,000 churches that seek diligently to bring about greater racial and ethnic representation at every level of Southern Baptist institutional life;

Whereas Reverend Fred Luter, Jr., was born on November 11, 1956, in New Orleans, Louisiana;

Whereas Reverend Luter preached his first church sermon in 1983 at the Law Street Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana;

Whereas Reverend Luter became the pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in 1986;

Whereas, under the leadership of Reverend Luter, the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church community grew from 65 members in 1986 to more than 7,000 members in 2005;

Whereas the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and lost approximately 2,000 members;

Whereas Reverend Luter, in cooperation with Reverend David Crosby, found a temporary home for Franklin Avenue Baptist Church during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina;

Whereas, continuing that spirit of cooperation, Reverend Crosby nominated Reverend Luter to become president of the Southern Baptist Convention;

Whereas Reverend Luter was elected to be the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 19, 2012; and

Whereas the election of Reverend Luter brings great pride and honor to the membership of the Southern Baptist Convention: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Senate congratulates the Southern Baptist Convention for electing Reverend Fred Luter, Jr., as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention; acknowledges Reverend Luter's unique role as the first African-American leader of the Southern Baptist Convention; and honors the commitment of the Southern Baptist Convention to an inclusive faith-based community and society.
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Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Diana Chandler.
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