(CHURCH REPORT) — NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Four months ago, two African-American pastors stood in a hallway of the Southern Baptist Convention's Nashville headquarters looking at a row of white faces.
The portraits of the 56 convention presidents since the denomination's 1845 founding are in large picture frames holding several portraits each. The final frame holds empty slots.
"They got a space for Fred, right there," one of the men said. "Got a space picked out for him."
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"Fred" is the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., the man poised to become the first African American president of the nation's largest Protestant denomination when convention delegates vote next week in New Orleans.