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Southern Baptists meet to elect new president

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Rev. Fred Luter Jr. who will leave office this year. AP photo Rev. Fred Luter Jr. who will leave office this year. AP photo
By TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - The Southern Baptists are electing a new president to succeed the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., who became the denomination's first African-American president in 2012.

Contenders include the Rev. Dennis Kim, pastor of a Korean church in Silver Springs, Maryland, and the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church, with several locations in northwest Arkansas.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation's largest Protestant denomination, with 15.7 million members, but leaders are concerned about recent membership declines.

The convention doesn't announce in advance what resolutions it would consider at its annual meeting, which opens Tuesday in Baltimore. But recent controversies include the admission of a Muslim student to a Southern Baptist seminary and the decision of one Southern Baptist church to stop preaching that homosexuality is immoral.

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