Peter M. Johnson has been named president of the Bessemer, Ala., LDS Stake, becoming the first black Mormon stake president in the state, according to The Birmingham News.
Johnson served a Mormon mission to Birmingham from 1987 to 1989, the newspaper reported, and had recently moved back to Alabama from Utah.
He is an Ernst and Young Fellow and assistant professor of accounting at the Culverhouse School of Accountancy at the University of Alabama.
Although Johnson is the first African-American to serve as a Mormon stake president in Alabama, he told the paper "there are many minority leaders in the 14 million-member Latter-day Saints Church ... serving throughout the church locally, nationally and worldwide."
Johnson’s stake — like a diocese — includes, the paper said, "12 congregations, larger ones called wards and smaller ones called branches, that have a combined membership of 3,716."
Currently, the Utah-based church has one black top leader, Elder Joseph W. Sitati of Kenya, who is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. The faith banned blacks from its all-male priesthood until 1978.
Peggy Fletcher Stack
|1.||Paul: Court young voters with privacy focus|
|2.||Utah polygamous family says going on TV liberating|
|3.||Satirical musical ‘The Book of Mormon’ set to play Utah theater|
|4.||Utah protesters mark National Tibetan Uprising Day|
|5.||Utah cockfighters say sport is tradition, not inhumane|
|6.||LDS leader tells Mormons to embrace their history, keep their faith|
|7.||Kirby: It’s better to work things out reasonably, even with Utah Republicans|
|8.||BYU basketball: Cougs brace for confident USF in WCC semis|
|9.||Jets release cornerback Cromartie|
|10.||Transformers 4 trailer has Dinobots and Mark Wahlberg in it|