Dr. Fred Luter Jr., Pastor of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana will be the keynote speaker at the 176th anniversary of the Stone Mountain Baptist Association. The meeting will be on Oct. 16, hosted by the Emmanuel Community Church located at 1400 Hwy. 212 in Conyers.
Luter made Southern Baptist history when he became SBC’s first ever African American President at the annual meeting held in his hometown of New Orleans in 2012 and just completed his term of office this past June.
The Southern Baptist Convention was founded in 1845. It is the largest evangelical organization in America with over 16 million members and 45,000 churches.
Luter had begun his ministry in 1977 in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward after he suffered a motorcycle accident. He has credited his motorcycling misadventure as his “road to Damascus moment”—his analogy to the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. He began as a street preacher at the corner of Caffin and Galvez.
During his street preaching days Luter observed a need to draw men, particularly fathers, into his evangelistic appeal by urging events which attract male interest, on one occasion, in 1981, hosting a gathering for a pay-per-view televised boxing match between Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard. His first sermon in a church building was in 1983 at New Orleans’ Law Street Baptist Church. He was a staff minister at the city’s Greater Liberty Baptist Church when he learned of the opening at Franklin Avenue.
Luter has been with the congregation since 1986, when it had 65 members. Before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the congregation had grown to over 7000 members, making it the largest congregation affiliated with SBC in Louisiana. Luter led the rebuilding of the membership after the diaspora from Katrina, and as of his election to the Southern Baptist presidency the congregation had 5000 members.
Luter’s strategy for congregational growth is rooted in his concept “FRANgelism”—the acronym “FRAN” standing for friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors in acts of networking people into the life of the congregation.
Luter was the middle child of five siblings and, after his parents divorced, was largely brought up single-handedly by his seamstress mother Viola Luter. In 1980 Fred Luter married Elizabeth W. Luter, who is involved in Lifeway Christian Resources Women’s Conferences. The couple has two children: daughter Kimberly Ann “Kim” Luter, and son Fred J. “Chip” Luter III who is also a Baptist minister.
Dr. Luter will lead a “Leadership Seminar” on Thursday, October 16 from 3 until 5 pm at Emmanuel Community Church. Cost for attendance is $10.00 per person and registration is on the Association’s website: www.stonemountainbaptistassociation.org
The event’s that day conclude with a Worship Celebration at 7 pm with Dr. Luter preaching and music provided by the host Church, Emmanuel Community Church in Conyers.
Dr. Larry Cheek, Missionary with the Stone Mountain Baptist Association and host Pastor, Dr. Eric Suddith, cordially invite the public to attend these events.