A pastor from Jackson, Mississippi, has been elected the new president of the National Baptist Convention, the largest group of black Christians in the United States.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports that Jerry Young, the group’s former vice president, emerged from a pack of five candidates to succeed Rev. Julius Scruggs of Huntsville, Alabama, whose five-year term ended Friday.

Young says he will seek to push the convention in new directions. He says he wants the convention to expand its profile, with its leaders becoming regular voices in the public.

The convention has emerged from its scandal of 15 years ago, when then-president Henry Lyons was found guilty of misappropriating $4 million in convention funds, including money donated by a Jewish group to rebuild black churches burned by arsonists in the South.

Information from The Times-Picayune.