Student center

NOBTS Student Center renamed in honor of Fred Luter

The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College Board of Trustees voted at their spring meeting to rename the campus student center after Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans. and past president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The new name is part of a $12 million plan focused on renovating the campus, including updating student housing, the cafeteria and the student center, the seminar reported April 18.

Jamie Dew, president of NOBTS and Leavell College, surprised Luter and his church members with the news on Easter Sunday. See Dew’s announcement video here.

“Proverbs 3:27 says this: ‘Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do so,'” Dew said during the presentation. which honor is due and it is in our power to do so.”

Restoration of the interior of the newly renamed Fred Luter Jr. Student Center is nearing completion after more than a year of work, NOBTS reported. Trustees also approved much-needed exterior upgrades to the student center, which include additional interior renovations, outdoor seating areas, landscaping and parking repairs.

The student center renovations were funded by an anonymous donation of $2 million. A donation of this size, Dew noted, includes the building’s naming rights. In consultation with the NOBTS administration, the donor has chosen to recognize Luter’s humble and faithful service to New Orleans and throughout the SBC by naming this building in his honor, the seminar reported.

Luter’s impact

Dew noted that he started listening to Luter’s sermons soon after becoming a believer.

“When you look at someone from afar, you get an idea of ​​who they are and what they are,” Dew told the congregation. “And you know how it goes, sometimes when you meet these people in real life, they’re not who you thought they would be.”

He added, “Brother, you’re not just everything I thought you were, you’re more. We love you.”

The Franklin Avenue Baptist Church called Luter as pastor in 1986. Luter went on to help the struggling congregation with 65 members grow into one of the largest Baptist churches in southern Louisiana, NOBTS reported.

“During his 36 years as pastor of the church,” NOBTS noted in his report, “Luter has become a prominent voice for the cause of Christ in the city of New Orleans and an ardent supporter of the work of the seminary”. In 2012, Luter was elected the first African-American president of the SBC and served two terms in that role.

In addition to updates and new features, the cafeteria will also receive a new name. Trustees voted to name the cafeteria the Landrum Leavell Dining Hall in memory of Landrum P. Leavell II., the seminary’s seventh president, who served for 20 years.

For more information on the NOBTS Trustees Meeting, click here.