Mississippi College

Southern Baptist Leader To Address Mississippi College Students

December 17, 2012

Rev. Fred Luter, Jr., who made history as the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will address Mississippi College students on February 5.

Luter will be one of the featured speakers at the Christian university’s spring chapel series at First Baptist Church Clinton. He speaks at 11 a.m. that Tuesday.

During his visit, Luter is also expected to attend a dinner on February 4th with MC’s Christian Studies students and those from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary center in Clinton.

The pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in his hometown of New Orleans, Luter turned a struggling inner-city church of 50 members into a large congregation in the Cresent City.

He’s faced adversity over the course of his life. At age 21, he survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident that turned his attention to God. Soon, Luter began preaching on street corners every Saturday with friends.

Although Hurricane Katrina wiped out his home and church in 2005, the pastor never missed preaching on Sundays and stayed in touch with his scattered flock around the city. Others moved to Houston, Texas to start a church. “Everywhere I went I would see people from my church, and it was like a family reunion with me,” Luter said.

Some members from his destroyed church started meeting at First Baptist Church New Orleans. Franklin Avenue reopened in 2008 and continues to grow.

Luter has made a slow and steady rise in the Southern Baptist ranks over the years. This fall, the New Orleans preacher spoke at the 177th annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention in Jackson.

Other speakers booked for the Mississippi College chapel series this spring include Brett Barnhill, a missionary in Haiti, who will visit First Baptist Church Clinton on January 15.

Mississippi College graduates Andy Taggart and his wife, Karen, will speak January 22. Andy Taggart is a lawyer, member of the Mississippi College Board of Trustees, and co-author of two books with Jere Nash on Mississippi politics.

Other speakers will include a representative from the Nehemiah Team ministry on March 5.

“Chapel is a common experience for students to grow in their understanding and appreciation of Jesus Christ and His followers,” says Eric Pratt, vice president for Christian Development. “This experience allows students to participate in praise, prayer and worship. Each week, Biblical challenges are given to promote reflection, discussion and a response.”

One of the chapel programs towards the end of the spring semester is the announcement of the Byrd Preaching Award recipient. The MC student winner will deliver the sermon on March 19.

In a related development, the Office of Christian Development will sponsor its annual Mosaic Week from February 24 through March 2. The week will feature nightly worship and concerts planned on the Clinton campus.

For additional details, contact Laura Ann Hoffman of the Office of Christian Development at 601.925.3235.

Photo: Rev. Fred Luter, Jr.

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