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Survey: Most Southern Baptist Pastors Favor Black Denominational Leader

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 May 30
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A majority of Southern Baptist pastors surveyed said they think it would be good for the nation's largest Protestant denomination to have an African-American leader, the Religion News Service reports. Six in 10 pastors responding to a LifeWay Research survey said they agree with the statement "Without  to any individual, I think it would be a good thing to have an African-American as president of the Southern Baptist Convention." Ten percent disagreed and 29 percent said they did not have an opinion. Of those who had an opinion, 86 percent agreed with the statement. Members of the Southern Baptist Convention are poised to elect Fred Luter, a New Orleans pastor, as their first African-American president in June. Ed Stetzer, president of SBC-affiliated LifeWay Research, said the question was asked to learn pastors' views on the expected vote, though the poll did not mention Luter. "We are still a predominantly Anglo denomination, so it is particularly encouraging to see the openness and enthusiasm for an African-American SBC president," Stetzer said. He thinks the almost 30 percent who did not state an opinion -- and some of those in disagreement -- may reflect pastors who think race should not play a role in SBC leadership selection.