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NC Baptists elect Charlotte pastor as president

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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- A senior pastor at a Charlotte church is the new president of the N.C. Baptist State Convention, whose delegates also have endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Mark Harris, senior pastor at First Baptist Church, ran unopposed in Tuesday's election. The 45-year-old Harris had recently served as the group's first vice president.

Delegates, or "messengers," to the convention's annual meeting in Greensboro also approved, without discussion or dissent, a resolution backing the proposed N.C. constitutional amendment that voters statewide will consider next May.

Most of the 4,300 churches associated with the state convention are Southern Baptist, the largest Protestant denomination in North Carolina, with about 1.3 million members.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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