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The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention is a staunchly conservative small-town preacher who touts biblical inerrancy, opposes women serving as pastors and supports abortion bans. Bart Barber also says he wants to be a unifier, a healer and a reformer as the United States' largest Protestant denomination reels from a major sex abuse crisis in which SBC leaders were found to have stonewalled victims for decades. Barber, 52, is a highly educated historian and expert on SBC polity. But he seems most at home on his Texas pastureland, communing with cows that he gives SBC-inspired names like Bully Graham, after the late Rev. Billy Graham.

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The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention is a staunchly conservative small-town preacher who touts biblical inerrancy, opposes women serving as pastors and supports abortion bans. Bart Barber also says he wants to be a unifier, a healer and a reformer as the United States’ largest Protestant denomination reels from a major sex abuse crisis in which SBC leaders were found to have stonewalled victims for decades. Barber, 52, is a highly educated historian and expert on SBC polity. But he seems most at home on his Texas pastureland, communing with cows that he gives SBC-inspired names like Bully Graham, after the late Rev. Billy Graham.

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Pastor Bart Barber, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, preaches from the pulpit of the First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas, on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. For nearly a quarter-century, Barber enjoyed relative obscurity as a pastor in this town of 3,600, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas. That changed in June as delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in California, chose Barber to lead the nation’s largest Protestant denomination at a time of major crisis. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)

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Joni Brewer talks to Bart Barber while preparing her miniature Hereford cow and calf for the Celebrate the Possibilities Livestock Show 2022 hosted by local chapters of the 4-H Club and National FFA Organization in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Barber’s background as a trusted, small-town preacher — not to mention his folksy sense of humor and self-deprecating style — helps explain why fellow Baptists picked him as their new leader. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)

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Pastor Bart Barber, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, wears a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary belt buckle at a livestock event hosted by local chapters of the 4-H Club and National FFA Organization in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)

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Bart Barber, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, laughs while his sixteen-year-old daughter Sarah shaves Iris, a Santa Gertrudis show heifer, at a livestock event in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Bart Barber grew up in a Southern Baptist family in Lake City, Ark. Baptized just before his sixth birthday, he felt God calling him to ministry at age 11 and preached his first sermon at 15. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)

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Bart Barber gives Caleb Coblentz, 5, tips on brushing heifers at a 4-H sponsored event in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)

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Vegas Patterson, 11, leans against Iris, an 18-month-old Santa Gertrudis show heifer owned by Sarah Barber, at the Celebrate the Possibilities Livestock Event in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)

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Bart Barber watches his daughter's show heifer Iris while she rests in a mobile stall at a livestock event in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)

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Bart Barber loads equipment into his stock trailer after attending a livestock event in McKinney, Texas, with his daughter Sarah on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Audrey Jackson)