Historic: Fred Luter Elected President of SBC

Shortly after Luter turned to Christ, he began working as a gospel disc jockey, spinning LPs at weddings. The sideline to his fulltime job as a commodities clerk at a brokerage firm began after a friend, noticing his love of gospel music, asked him to serve at her wedding.

“This will probably blow people away,” he said, “… and I thought I was pretty good at it too.”

He gave up that sideline when he was ordained as a preacher and installed as pastor of Franklin Avenue, serving bivocationally while advancing to the brokerage firm’s vice presidency.

“I was bivocational and so as a result of that I would go to work in the daytime and come here at Franklin Avenue like at 5:30, 6 o’clock every evening, until about 9, 9:30 at night,” he said. Luter enrolled at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary at night and often would interrupt his workday for funerals and other church concerns, as the congregation grew.

“Some of my leaders said, Pastor, you need to stop doing that, the church is growing. We need you to come full time,” he recounted. “The church just started exploding with growth. We started adding additional services and things like that and, as they say, the rest is history.”

Not only is this historic in the Southern Baptist denomination, given its past, but it’s great for the larger Body of Christ and the advance of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

I applaud this move.

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