Southern Baptists elect new leader

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Southern Baptists elected a relative

outsider as their president today, turning back a Nashville pastor

and another candidate.

Delegates meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, elected Frank

Page of Taylors, South Carolina, to head the Southern Baptist

Convention for the next year.

The 53-year-old Page received just over 50 percent of the vote.

Pastor Jerry Sutton of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville

was one of the other two candidates. He's currently first vice

president of the group and is aligned with conservatives.

The Southern Baptist Convention is based in Nashville.

Page described himself as a (quote) "normal pastor of a

somewhat normal church."

Page's campaign emphasized the importance of giving to the

Southern Baptists' cooperative program, in which congregations pool

money to fund overseas and domestic missions.

He was supported by younger pastors and others who felt

marginalized by the leadership of older convention leaders.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)