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Southern Baptists meet amid controversies as convention gears up for the future

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This week was the first meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention since the dawn of the #MeToo movement. And in its wake the SBC has endured three recent scandals where top Baptist leaders were forced to step down because of inappropriate sexual behavior.

But the largest Protestant Christian denomination in the United States, and arguably the most conservative, politically, has an eye on the future.

At their meeting in Dallas, members elected 45-year-old Pastor J.D. Greear as their new president, the youngest leader in almost four decades.

“It’s exciting and humbling I think there’s something happening in the SBC,” Greear said after he was elected.

The boyish pastor of popular megachurch The Summit, bested longtime, old guard Baptist preacher Ken Hemphill in a 69 to 31 percent vote. But Greear insists it’s not about getting rid of the old.

Instead, he sees himself as a bridge builder, one who understands the needed emphasis on diversity and engaging a younger demographic.

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