NASHVILLE (BP)—Colorado pastor Ben Mandrell unanimously was recommended as the next president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources by the trustees’ presidential search committee.
Mandrell, 42, is the lead pastor of Storyline Fellowship, a Southern Baptist congregation in Arvada, Colo.
Trustees will vote on the recommendation during a special called session Friday, June 28, in Atlanta.
If elected, Mandrell will become the 10th president of the 128-year-old Southern Baptist entity.
Mandrell and his family moved to the Denver area in 2014 to plant Storyline Fellowship in partnership with the North American Mission Board and First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla. The church launched in February 2015 with 250 people and has grown to 1,600 in weekly attendance, with over 2,800 this past Easter.
Before planting Storyline Fellowship, Mandrell served as senior pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., from 2006-13, leading the church to grow from 1,800 to 2,600 in weekly attendance. Before becoming senior pastor, he served as the church’s college pastor and as director of discipleship ministries at Union University in Jackson.
He previously was on staff with Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., K-Life Ministries of Orlando, Fla., and Sterling Christian School in Sterling, Ill.
“I am so humbled by this incredible opportunity and grateful to be joining the amazing team of creatives at LifeWay,” Mandrell said. “I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for these coming years.”
‘Proven leadership and vision’
The recommendation of Mandrell follows a 10-month search that began with the presidential search committee members’ commitment to pray every day and seek God’s guidance throughout the process, said Kent Dacus, committee chair. He said the committee gave serious and prayerful consideration to a diverse field of candidates.
“Ben has an incredible passion for the local church and for how LifeWay can help meet its needs,” Dacus said. “We found a leader who has a focused and compelling vision for the future of LifeWay.”
Trustee chairman Jimmy Scroggins agreed, saying, “Ben’s proven leadership and vision matches LifeWay’s assignment to serve churches in their mission of making disciples.”
A native of Tampico, Ill., Mandrell graduated from Anderson (Ind.) University in 1998. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union University.
Mandrell and his wife Lynley have been married 18 years. They have four children—Ava, 15, Max, 14, Miles, 12, and Jack, 11.
“What an incredible leader and future for LifeWay,” said Thom S. Rainer, who served as LifeWay’s ninth president from February 2006 to February 2019. “God has raised up the right man for the right leadership at the right time.”