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By Bruce Nolan, Religion News Service 

NEW ORLEANS – After months of urging from other Baptists around the country, the Reverend Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention.

Several Baptist leaders said Luter becomes the prohibitive favorite for the post, to be filled in a potentially historic election at the Southern Baptists’ annual meeting  in June.

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SBC Today, a Baptist-focused news website, carried the announcement on Wednesday. Youth pastor Fred “Chip” Luter III separately confirmed Luter’s announcement to his church on Sunday.

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