In a denomination founded in 1845 by slaveholding Southerners, a new president is a marked symbol of change.
In New Orleans, the Rev. Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention — its first black president.
His rise in the denomination, still predominantly white, is a significant symbolic step. Only 15 years after the convention was founded, America divided over the question of slavery and fought a bloody civil war.
We congratulate Luter on his elevation.