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Subject: Baptist Leader L.V. Booth

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Date Posted: November 25, 2002 3:21:37 EDT

TRev. L. Venchael Booth, who had a major role in the founding of the 2.5 million-member Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc., a black denomination based in Washington, died on Nov. 16 at the home of a daughter in Memphis, where he was living. He was 83.

Mr. Booth was his convention's president in the early 1970's.

The denomination, which had the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an early member, was formed in 1961 after Mr. Booth split with another African-American denomination, the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc. Among the issues in the split, his son the Rev. Dr. William D. Booth said in an interview, was a lack of term limits for the presidents of conventions, which inhibited the rise of younger leaders.

The founding meeting of the progressive Baptist group was in Cincinnati at the Zion Baptist Church, where Mr. Booth was pastor for three decades. He was also was the University of Cincinnati's first black trustee.

Lavaughn Venchael Booth was born in Covington County, Miss., and received a bachelor of divinity degree from Howard University and several other degrees, both earned and honorary, from other institutions. He married Georgia Anna Morris in 1942. She died in 1993.

In addition to his son William, his survivors include two other sons, Paul, a Cincinnati city councilman, and Lavaughn Jr. of Chicago; and two daughters, Anna-Marie Booth of San Francisco and Dr. Georgia Leeper of Memphis.

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