NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Southern Baptist Convention made headlines two years ago when it elected its first African-American president.
On Tuesday, the nation's largest Protestant denomination will chose a new president from among a list of candidates that includes a Korean-American pastor. The Rev. Dennis Kim leads the largest Southern Baptist church in Maryland. But many Southern Baptists expect white megachurch pastor Ronnie Floyd of Arkansas to be their next president.
Supporters of both candidates agree the next president should be someone who can help reverse the Nashville, Tennessee-based denomination's declining membership, church attendance and baptisms.
Kim's election could send a strong message about the SBC's commitment to ethnic and geographic diversity. But some members are uncomfortable with the idea of making a conscious effort to diversify the leadership.