By Waylon Bailey, Pastor of First Covington, President of the LBC
During the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 19, we elected Fred Luter president of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was a great day. Let me share with you why this is so special and why this is a great choice.
First, Fred Luter is a prince of a person. He loves the Lord and loves people. He’s the same every time you see him. He has a wonderful family. I could go on and on.
Of all the qualifications for president of anything, these personal qualities should be first in importance. Fred is a man of integrity. The Southern Baptist Convention elected Fred Luter because of the “content of his character.”
Second, Fred is a great pastor. Most of us forget we first heard of Fred Luter because of the magnificent work he was doing in the city of New Orleans with African-America males. Franklin Avenue and Fred Luter has done a remarkable job reaching young men for Christ.
Since that time we know Fred as a great preacher and popular speaker. We know him for the catastrophe of Katrina and losing the building where the church met.
We know how he shuttled from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to Houston to shepherd his people. Who wouldn’t want to elect someone like that?
Faithfulness, sincerity, genuineness, and integrity have their own rewards. If the election as president of the SBC is a reward, then Fred deserves his election.
Third, Fred is from Louisiana, and it makes me proud that we share that distinction and designation.
Fourth, this is a feel-good story. As Fred would say, for a street kid from the Lower Ninth Ward to be elected president of the SBC is an amazing story. But, it’s not a story about Fred so much as about the grace of God. None of us deserves much of anything, but God, in His goodness, allows us to serve and to lead.
Finally, and this is the correct order, Fred is the first African-American to be elected president of the SBC. The Southern Baptist Convention came out of the divide in our country between North and South in 1845. Fred’s election signals to everyone a new day among our denomination. Actually, that new day started long ago. This will simply allow other people to recognize it.
Please join me in praying for Fred and Elizabeth. This is a great choice.