Baptists: Leader from Liberia

There are 26 million Baptists in 121 countries around the world, 23 million of them Americans and 10.6 million of them members of the virtually all-white Southern Baptist Convention. Last week, following up declarations on racial justice passed by their annual sessions in June, Southern Baptists joined with other delegates to elect without opposition the first Negro president of the Baptist World Alliance. He is William R. Tolbert Jr., 52, vice president of Liberia since 1951.

The friendship-promoting Alliance, which meets once every five years, has no authority over its member churches; nonetheless, delegates to the Miami Beach meeting hailed the...

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