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SBC President Fred Luter Has 'Incredible' Meeting With Billy Graham

Baptist Demoniation's First African-American Head Compares Evangelist to Biblcal Moses

SBC President Fred Luter Has 'Incredible' Meeting With Billy Graham

The Southern Baptist Convention's newly elected President Fred Luter recently visited with renowned evangelist Billy Graham, an experience which the Louisiana native described as "incredible" and similar to meeting Moses on Mount Sinai.

"First of all, I was just kind of amazed that when I walked in the house … he was sitting at the kitchen table, and it was like you were walking on Mt. Sinai and there's Moses just sitting there," Luter told the Baptist Press.

"You know it was just incredible," he added.

Luter, who is the first African-American to be elected president of the SBC, went on to tell BP that much of their conversation centered on civil rights, as Graham, now 93, has been a proponent of civil rights throughout his career.

During his crusades at a time of racial segregation, Graham had audience members, both Caucasian and African-American, sit together.

"[Graham has] always been one who believed in the different ethnic groups. There was a time when he wouldn't even have his crusades in a town if other ethnic groups were not included. He wanted to make it inclusive, so he was really excited about [the election]," Luter told BP.

The New Orleans pastor said Graham congratulated him for making history as the SBC's first black president.

Luter met Graham, who founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in 1950, at his home in Montreat, N.C., on July 26.

The SBC leader accompanied Pastor Don Wilton, who leads the First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., of which Graham is a member.

Luter was elected to his leadership role at the SBC in June, and previously met Graham during a March 2006 Celebration of Hope Crusade in New Orleans.

Additionally, Luter met with Graham's son, Franklin Graham, when the evangelist visited him at his Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The once 7,000-person congregation had abandoned the church after the devastating storm, and Graham encouraged Luter to see the church as a "beacon of hope" for all those who lost their homes in the community, according to the BGEA website.

Billy Graham, an evangelical Christian and Southern Baptist minister, has become a celebrity figure for his sermons and spiritual advisory role to numerous U.S. presidents. He has also led a series of evangelism crusades throughout the world, which Franklin Graham continues to do today.


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