New church convention seen as alternative

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January 30, 2008

ATLANTA, Ga.---About 10,000 moderate and liberal Baptists are expected in Atlanta Wednesday for the start of a three day "Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant."

Some observers see it as an alternative to the nation's largest Protestant denomination--the Southern Baptist Convention--which is known for its conservative views.

Former President Jimmy Carter is one of the organizers. Other major speakers include former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore.

Organizers say the timing of the event, just days before the Georgia presidential primaries, is just a coincidence. They say the planning began about two years ago, before the primary date was selected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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