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Southern Baptists elect new president

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The pastor of a large church in Springdale, Arkansas was elected president t this week of the Southern Baptist Convention while messengers met in Baltimore, Maryland, according to a recent article in the Christian Post. The mainstream news media refers to the Southern Baptists as the largest Protestant denomination in America with 15.1 million members.

The Southern Baptists disagree. They do not consider themselves Protestants as they were not one of the denominations who "protested" the medieval Catholic Church and broke away from it. Technically, as they were never a part of the Catholic Church they do not ascribe to the moniker "Protestant".

When Martin Luther led the Great Protestant Reformation new mainline denominations such as the Presbyterians, Lutherans and others were created.

Ronnie Floyd, who is pastor of the 8,000 member Cross Church of Springdale, defeated two other opponents to win election. He succeeds Fred Luter, the first African American to serve as president.

Floyd won election from the 5,000 messengers who attended the convention despite roundly criticizing many pastors for focusing on being "cool" rather than concentrating on the glory of God. He argued that an intimate relationship with God is more important than creating a perception of coolness with people.

Floyd compared some preachers to Aaron as portrayed in the Old Testament story of the golden calf. He said Aaron stayed with the people while they built a golden calf while Moses climbed the mountain to confer with God.

He said that believers will never convert lost souls in rural areas or in big cities by projecting a cool image. Floyd said that will only be accomplished through a closer relationship with God.

Dennis Manpoong Kim, an Asian pastor in Maryland, was his closest opponent, garnering 41 % of the vote. Jared Moore of Kentucky also was nominated and was in the running for the top position.

The influential president of Southern Baptist Seminary Dr. Albert Mohler hailed Floyd's election as a good thing. He said he believed Floyd would do a great job.

Floyd ran on a platform of pursuing the goals of the Great Commission as set out in the New Testament.

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