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HOUSTON (AP) – The Southern Baptist Convention has re-elected its first black president, the Rev. Fred Luter Jr.

Luter was first elected in 2012. His presidency comes at a time when the nation’s largest Protestant denomination is trying to move beyond its traditional white Southern base.

The Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention claims 16 million members, but recently announced that membership declined in 2012 for the sixth straight year.

Luter was re-elected on Tuesday during the convention’s annual meeting in Houston. He was unopposed and received a standing ovation.

Southern Baptist presidents can serve a maximum of two one-year terms.

 

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