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April 14, 2014

Jeb Bush to meet with Southern Baptist leader. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will meet privately next month with Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, the Washington Post reported April 8, an effort to reach out to evangelicals should he decide to run for president in 2016. Evangelical leaders including Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Mark DeMoss, a public-relations specialist who spearheaded Mormon candidate Mitt Romney’s outreach to evangelicals in the last election, have said they think Bush would do well in winning over conservative Christians. Moore, who took over as head of Southern Baptists’ agency for personal morality and public policy last year, has expressed little interest in presidential politics but has been vocal on issues like immigration, same-sex marriage and public prayer. His predecessor, Richard Land, was regarded as a mover and shaker in the Religious Right, although he never formally endorsed a candidate until Romney in 2012. Moore told the Post he does not endorse candidates but is happy to counsel any potential contender, whether Democrat or Republican. Top D.C. Baptist exec stepping down. Ricky Creech will step down as executive director/minister of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention April 24 to take the helm of a faith-based nonprofit in Kentucky that provides services to troubled youths in Ricky Creechparts of Appalachia. Creech, who has been the convention’s chief executive since 2011, announced his plans April 3 to its board of directors—the first meeting of the group created in a major governance reorganization adopted in February. Before his election to the convention position, Creech was executive director of the Birmingham (Ala.) Baptist Association. Earlier, he was a church and community missionary in Montgomery and Birmingham for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Home Mission Board.

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