[This is the fourth of five posts reflecting on my experience at the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, LA in 2012. For more information, or to see the other posts in this series, click here.]
It is my belief that the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention will be remembered for one thing – Fred Luter’s election as president of the convention. It was an honor to stand in support of his unanimous election. The weight of that election in not just Southern Baptist history, but religious history in America, was not lost on the thousands who cheered for our newly elected president.
Words fall short in describing the momentous occasion. However divided Southern Baptists had been leading up to that moment, all stood united as a convention founded by slave owners elected the first African-American president in their 167 year history. Even those not given to public displays of emotion found difficulty restraining tears from escaping their place of hiding. In 1995, the convention had adopted a resolution apologizing for their part in propagating racism and slavery. Seventeen years later, the convention was released from the shackles of the past and made a definitive move by looking past a man’s skin tone and electing a great man to the office of SBC president.