Taken from the web site of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church:
Pastor Fred Luter, Jr. He is a man to whom God has given a vision. A man who truly loves God and loves to do God’s work.
“I love preaching and teaching. It’s a passion. God has given me a gift.”
He is the humble Senior Pastor Fred Luter, Jr. under whose vision and leadership Franklin Avenue Baptist Church has grown from a membership of 65 members on roll to its current membership of 7000 plus worshippers. Despite the growth of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, Pastor Luter has remained a humble man. He says he is able to be humble for many reasons.
“I know my background. I have not accomplished this on my own.” Pastor Luter adds, “It was the grace and mercy of God, committed folk, and my wife Elizabeth.”
When Pastor Luter attributes his success to God, he is not being modest. It has truly been grace that has brought him this far. Pastor Luter began his career as what he fondly refers to as a street preacher. Before he was called to the FABC pastorate in 1986, he spent his time preaching on different street corners in the “Lower Nine” area where he grew up.
Only having received his call to the ministry three years earlier, the members of FABC elected him pastor even though he had no pastoral experience. Obviously those members sensed Pastor Luter’s leadership potential, and today he is just that, a well respected leader. He does not, however, want the members of FABC to put him on a pedestal. “I try to mention that it’s not about me.” That is why members of Franklin Avenue often hear: It’s not about the Pastor. It’s about the Master.
Pastor Luter is also a respected speaker/preacher across the country. The senior pastor made headlines as the first African-American to be elected to the Executive Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention in 1992. He made headlines again in June 2001 when he was the first African-American to preach the Southern Baptist Convention Message. In the Summer 2002 issue of Growing Churches Magazine, Pastor Luter recounts how it was both exciting and nerve-wracking to “preach to preachers, seminary professors and former presidents of the Convention” and to be in the company of Southern Baptist dignitaries Jerry Vines, Dr. Adrian Rogers, and Dr. Paige Patterson among others.
Despite FABC’s growth and recognition (FABC is the largest Southern Baptist church in the city and state) Pastor Luter wants the congregation to remember Franklin Avenue is not in competition with other churches. He wants members to “continue to stay focused on what God has called us to do as a church.” That calling is embodied in the church mission statement: to spiritually impact our families, neighborhoods, city and state by exalting the Savior, equipping the saints and evangelizing the sinners. And, under Pastor Luter’s continued tutelage and vision for the Church, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church will do just that for many years to come.
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