JACKSON, Miss.--The Rev. Fred Luter's first visit to the Mississippi Baptists Annual Meeting saw him preaching a message that the Word of God is constant and it will set you free. He also talked about more diversity in the Convention.
"For years this group has been talking about that we want other ethnic groups in the Convention," he said. "This year-June 19, New Orleans, Louisiana-we stopped talking about it and we put our money where our mouth is when they voted me as president."
Luter is the first African-American president of the Southern Baptists, a denomination that dominates the Mississippi religious scene.
"We need other African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians-we've got to have more diversity."
Luter, who describes himself as a "street preacher" from New Orleans, also told News Mississippi that the Southern Baptists, as a convention, would not be endorsing any political candidates, and that had a lot to do with more minorities being included in the group than in the past.
He said, though, that members are being encouraged to vote with their beliefs "because we are diverse and because we believe the Word of God".
Hear Rev. Luter preach