The Southern Baptist Convention elected Ed Litton as its new president on Tuesday, with the Alabama pastor receiving 52 percent of the vote.
Litton, considered one of the more moderate candidates, defeated Mike Stone, a pastor from Georgia. Stone is a member of the Conservative Baptist Network, which contends that the denomination is moving too far to the left. Litton will serve as president for one year.
More than 13,000 people are at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting, and this year there have been serious discussions on race, sexual abuse, and politics. The convention is also reckoning with how involved it should be in conservative politics, with Litton arguing that this connection is keeping some people away.
Litton has a history of promoting racial reconciliation, and was the top candidate for many young and non-white Southern Baptists, The Wall Street Journal reports. Roughly 90 percent of the Southern Baptist Convention's members are white, and prior to the election, Litton said it was important for their "brothers in the African American community, our sisters — we need them to be able to reach this nation. I am concerned about that."