NEW YORK (AP) — The Riverside Church in Manhattan, a bastion of liberal social justice causes, is a step closer to filling its vacant pulpit, one of the nation's most prominent. A search committee has unanimously selected the Rev. Brad R. Braxton, 39, a Rhodes scholar and son of a Baptist pastor who led a congregation of his own in Baltimore. Braxton most recently has been an associate professor at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville.

"All of us know that this young man has a vision much larger than ours," said Cheryle Wills, chairwoman of the search committee. "We want to be on the forefront of change. And not change for the sake of change. But change for the betterment and inclusion of all people."