Southern Baptists pick president who worked for racial unity

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Pastor Ed Litton, of Saraland, Ala., answers questions after being elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Southern Baptist Convention has tamped down a push from the right at its largest meeting in decades, electing a new president who has worked to bridge racial divides in the church and defeating an effort to make an issue of critical race theory.

The more than 15,000 delegates in attendance Tuesday picked as their next leader Ed Litton, a white pastor from Alabama.

In the second round of voting, Litton defeated Mike Stone, a Georgia pastor backed by a new group called the Conservative Baptist Network, which encouraged supporters to come to the meeting as voting delegates.

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