MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (BP) – The Executive Board of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana named Ohio pastor Ryan Strother executive director during a special called meeting Monday. Strother will begin in the role Oct. 13.
Bobby Pell, pastor of NorthWoods Church in Evansville, Ind., has served as the interim executive director of the SCBI and will continue in that role until Strother officially starts.
“We are more excited than words can express with how our Lord led us to Ryan, his love for our Lord, and what he brings to Indiana,” said Tom Savage, pastor of Sugar Creek Baptist Church in West Terre Haute, Ind., and chairman of the search committee. “I look forward to the beginning of this journey.”
Through a process with the consulting organization, Denominee, the SCBI is clarifying its new vision of partnering with churches to discover and fulfill their next steps. Strother anticipates leading these efforts that will cultivate dynamic and healthier churches to see more people come to faith in Christ, more churches started, and more missionaries sent.
“I’m humbled and excited for this opportunity to serve the churches of the SCBI,” Strother said. “We will develop and implement a ministry strategy to facilitate our new vision so that we will see churches thriving in what God has called them. With even greater clarity and cooperation, there are great days ahead for Indiana’s churches.”
For the past 12 years, Strother served as lead pastor of Central Baptist Church in Marion, Ohio. During that time, he led Central in partnership with the North American Mission Board to plant a new church and send a missionary family to Poland through the IMB. Strother also served as president of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio in 2019 and 2020, where he initiated and has been involved in the Denominee process for the SCBO.
Strother, 37, and his wife, Nikki, have five children. He completed an M.Div. at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The search committee consisted of the chairpersons of the executive board’s committees and began their work in 2020 following the retirement of former executive director Steve McNeil.