Pastor of Birmingham’s Sixth Avenue Baptist quits

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The pastor of one of Birmingham’s largest black churches has resigned.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The pastor of one of Birmingham’s largest black churches has resigned.

The Birmingham News reported that the Rev. Al B. Sutton Jr. resigned Sunday as pastor of 130-year-old Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.

Some members wept openly when Sutton announced his resignation during the 8:30 a.m. service Sunday.

Sutton said he was leaving to start a new church, Living Stones Temple. Sutton did not preach at Sixth Avenue’s 11 a.m. service.

Sutton had led Sixth Avenue Baptist Church since August 2000. He was hired to replace the Rev. John T. Porter who was pastor of the church for 38 years and led the congregation through the civil rights movement.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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