SBC Elects New Leader

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The Southern Baptist Convention has voted down a proposal that would have asked parents to pull their children from public schools in favor of religious education.

Earlier this year, some members had proposed a statement denouncing public schools as “officially Godless.”

In other business, the Reverend Bobby Welch, a native of Fort Payne, Ala., was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Welch, 61, has been senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach for almost 30 years.

At a news conference after his election in Indianapolis, Welch said he'll use his term to promote evangelism because he believes Southern Baptists are declining, judging from a recent drop in baptisms of new members.

Wednesday was the final day of the denomination's annual meeting in Indianapolis.