By Baptist Press Staff
[img_assist|nid=7360|title=Fred Luter|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=75|height=100]NEW ORLEANS (BP)--Louisiana pastor Fred Luter will be nominated as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Daniel Akin announced June 7.
Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, will be nominated by Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
The SBC annual meeting will be June 14-15 in Phoenix.
Akin, who has known Luter for more than 20 years, praised him as "one of Southern Baptists' favorite preachers." Citing his "enormous respect" for Luter, Akin said, "He is a wonderful role model as a pastor, as a preacher, as a husband, and also as a father. He has graced Southern Baptist churches and conferences for more than two decades."
Luter was born in New Orleans and grew up in the historic "Lower 9th Ward" of the city. Next year's SBC annual meeting will be held in New Orleans. "The timing is right," Akin said.
"I think it would be a great thing for Southern Baptists to honor him and allow him to serve us the year the convention is going to return to New Orleans," Akin said. "I can't imagine anyone more qualified and more worthy to be nominated to this position than Fred."
Luter lost his home and many church members to Hurricane Katrina. Much of the church building also was under water.
"The fact that he has stayed in New Orleans and helped rebuild both that church and the city following Katrina just speaks volumes as to the kind of man that he is," Akin said.
Luter, who is celebrating his 25th year at Franklin Avenue, was also asked to serve on the mayor's "Bring Back New Orleans Commission" to help rebuild the city post-Katrina.
Luter's church had 4,878 members in 2010, according to the Annual Church Profile. It had fewer than 100 resident members when he arrived.
Luter and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children: Kimberly Ann and Fred "Chip" Luter, III.