By Bob Allen
Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter says his church will no longer sponsor a Boy Scout troop after a recent vote to accept Scouts who are openly gay.
“I was a Boy Scout,” Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, told an Alabama newspaper Friday night. “We have a Boy Scout troop in our church.”
Luter presided over last week’s SBC annual meeting, which featured a resolution criticizing the Boy Scouts of America for a new policy that says young people cannot be denied membership on the basis of “sexual orientation or preference alone.”
The resolution stopped short of asking churches to withdraw from the Scouts but supported those that do.
Luter told the Birmingham News the congregation he has led for 25 years will end its involvement with the Boy Scouts because they have taken a position the denomination feels is unbiblical.
“We’ll be pulling out of Boy Scouts,” Luter said moments before taking the stage at a Gridiron Men’s Conference headlined by NFL player Tim Tebow and Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy.
Luter said Franklin Avenue may offer Royal Ambassadors, a Southern Baptist missions and discipleship organization for boys grades 1-6 administered by Woman’s Missionary Union, as an alternative.
Luter, the first African-American to serve as SBC president, was elected without opposition to a second term at the June 11-12 SBC annual meeting in Houston.