The Rev. Robert Charles Scott was installed Sunday as the new pastor of Charlotte's St. Paul's Baptist Church.
The 5,000-member African-American church in the Belmont community has been a leader in advocating for the city's have-nots and minorities.
The church made space, for example, for a grassroots activist group called H.E.L.P., short for Help Empower Local People.
Scott, a Mississippi native who has a degree from Duke Divinity School, succeeds the Rev. Greg Moss, who left the church for health reasons in late 2015.
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Scott, 48, is just the church’s fifth pastor in its 117-year history.
He preached his first sermon at age 11 and was ordained at 18 at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in his hometown of Monticello, Miss. Besides his Master of Divinity from Duke, Scott has a doctoral degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Before coming to St. Paul Baptist, he was pastor at Zion Temple United Church of Christ in Durham, Union Baptist Church in Lexington, N.C., and – from 1999 until late last year – Central Baptist Church in St. Louis.
The installation service included proclamations and greetings from U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., and from the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.