Tennessee Baptists elect first black leader

AP News
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Posted: Nov 12, 2014 10:53 AM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Baptist Association has elected its first African-American president with the selection of Memphis pastor Michael Ellis.

The Commercial Appeal of Memphis (http://bit.ly/1EANCd4) reports the election during Tuesday's annual meeting in the Nashville area was unanimous.

Ellis, pastor of Impact Baptist church near Memphis, calls his election a "great day" for the convention and for the state of Tennessee.

The Tennessee Baptist Convention is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, which elected its first black president, Fred Luter, in 2012.

Ellis spent 21 years in the Navy and was ordained in 1991. He started Impact Baptist in 2006.

Ellis and Impact Baptist run Northaven Community Development Corp. The group is renovating homes that had been foreclosed on in hopes of transforming renters into owners.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com