Religion Briefs

Southern Baptists elect black leader

NEW ORLEANS – The Southern Baptist Convention voted Tuesday to elect its first African-American president in one of its biggest steps yet to reconcile the 167-year-old denomination’s troubled racial past and appeal to a more diverse group of believers.

The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. was unopposed in being elected by thousands of enthusiastic delegates Tuesday at the annual meeting of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in his hometown of New Orleans.

Pastor David Crosby of First Baptist New Orleans nominated Luter, calling him a “fire-breathing, miracle-working pastor” who “would likely be a candidate for sainthood if he were Catholic.”

Crosby recalled how Luter built the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church from a tiny congregation to a megachurch of nearly 8,000 before the buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Har Shalom announces events

Congregation Har Shalom, 2537 County Road 203, will host these events:

A Shabbat morning service will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today. Eli Herb will lead the service. Participants may bring lunch foods to share.

Avodat Lev, Service of the Heart, will take place from 6:15 to 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Kabbalat Shabbat and Oneg will take place from 7 to 7:20 p.m. Friday. Eli Herb will lead this service.

“How the Bible Became A Book” will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday. Participants will look at the texts as collections of oral teachings transcribed, collected and edited by scribes, sages, parents and priests. This will be a study session facilitated by Eli Herb about how storytelling and oral tradition are vital to people, tradition and Jewish identity.

Herald Staff and the Associated Press