Churchnet directors elected Brian Ford as the organization’s executive director-elect and named longtime staff member Brian Kaylor as associate director on Sept. 10 during their annual retreat at Windermere Baptist Conference Center, according to a news release.
The recommendations came from a search committee made up of members of the Churchnet Administrative Team working with Executive Director Jim Hill.
The Board had approved a succession plan proposed by Hill in 2015 to allow responsibilities of the top leadership position to be handed off gradually over nine to 12 months.
“I could not have been more pleased with the recommendations of the search committee, and I am delighted the board has approved them,” Hill said. “Brian Ford and Brian Kaylor both bring very significant gifts to our ministry, and they bring a fresh, younger perspective as well. I look forward to working with them as we transition leadership for our ministry during the coming months, and I am confident God will bless their leadership in the days ahead.”
Ford, who will become executive director upon Hill’s retirement in 2017, has been pastor of Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church in Columbia, Mo., since 2003. He is a graduate of William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.
He earned an M.Div. at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kan., in 2000 and is an adjunct professor there. He completed his D.Min. at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 2012 with a focus on “Congregational Mission and Leadership.”
Ford previously was associate pastor at First Baptist Church, Independence, Mo., and youth minister at First Baptist Church, Lamar, Mo.
He has served on the board of Churchnet and was elected its vice president earlier this year. He has served on the Missouri Baptist Foundation and Missouri Baptist Historical Society boards and has been moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri. He is a member of advocacy organizations Missouri Faith Voices and Faith Voices of Columbia (Mo.).
“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve Churchnet in this role,” Ford said. “I look forward to working with Brian Kaylor and the other staff. God is actively at work in the world, and Churchnet has much to offer to assist churches as they find God and join in God’s mission in their neighborhoods and beyond.”
He and his wife Holly have two children.
Kaylor is the longest-tenured member of the Churchnet staff, hired during the first year of its existence in the early 2000s when it was known simply as the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. He has served as the Generational Engagement Team Leader.
“I am excited to serve the network in an expanded role,” he said. “It’s been a blessing to be a part of the ministry of Churchnet for the past 13 years, and I remain hopeful about the future. I look forward to working with Brian Ford and the rest of the staff as we serve churches.”
He is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University and earned an M.A. (2005) and a Ph.D. (2008) in communications from the University of Missouri. He has been a contributing editor to Ethics Daily since 2005.
Kaylor was assistant professor of communication studies at James Madison University from 2008 to 2014 and remained on the Churchnet staff during his tenure there. He previously was pastor of Union Mound Baptist Church in Elkland, Mo., and a ministry associate with Tri-County Baptist Association.
He is vice chair of the Communications Advisory Committee of the Baptist World Alliance and member of the Commission on Christian Ethics and the Awards Committee of BWA.
He is the author of four books and more than 400 news articles and columns. He has been a regular writer for Word & Way and has received more than 20 awards for his writing. He and his wife Jennifer are the parents of a son.