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Fred Luter: The First African-American Elected as the President of Southern Baptist Convention



Fred Luter Jr., the middle child of five siblings, was born on November 11, 1956, in New Orleans. On June 19, 2012, he was elected as the president of Southern Baptist Convention and became the first African-American to achieve that in the denomination’s 167-year history.

Before his election, Luter has been the pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans since 1986. The church had only 65 members at that time, but within two decades, the number has increased to more than 7,000.

Luter began his ministry in 1977 in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward after he had a motorcycle accident. He relates the incident to the conversion of Saul of Tarsus in the bible. Luter married his wife, Elizabeth, in 1980 and the couple has two children, Kimberly and Fred.