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(RNS) A New Jersey pastor has been elected the next general secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention.
The Rev. Walter Parrish III, senior pastor of Union Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J., was chosen for the position during the historically black denomination’s annual meeting, which concluded Aug. 8 in Louisville, Ky.
Parrish, 50, will succeed the Rev. Tyrone Pitts, who is retiring.
When he begins his post on Jan. 1, 2010, Parrish will remain as pastor of his New Jersey church, according to an announcement on his church’s Web site.
The choice of Parrish marks an unusual father-son connection in denominational leadership, noted the American Baptist News Service. The Rev. Walter Parrish II, Parrish’s father, is the executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of the South, a regional group within the American Baptist Churches USA.
The New Jersey congregation is dually aligned with the two denominations; the younger Parrish worked for the American Baptists’
Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board from 1990 to 2002.
“We congratulate both the PNBC and Dr. Parrish on this call,” said the Rev. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA. “Walter is well-respected within ABC life where he has served for years, and we know he will bring excellent leadership to PNBC.”
The Progressive National Baptist Convention is a 2.5 million-member denomination that was founded in 1961 and included the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. among its members.
by Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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