Columbia, Mo., pastor Brian Ford has been elected executive director of Churchnet, a ministry network of churches and individuals also known as the Baptist General Convention of Missouri.
Pastor of Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church in Columbia, Mo., since 2003, Ford becomes the third person to lead the group formed in 2002 over differences with fundamentalists in the Missouri Baptist Convention.
He succeeds Jim Hill, a former Missouri Baptist Convention executive director who has led Churchnet since 2004. Last December Hill presented a plan approved by the Churchnet board of directors for a gradual leadership transition over a period of nine to 12 months.
Elected Sept. 10 by the Churchnet board of directors, Ford takes office as executive director-elect Oct. 1. He will step into leadership when Hill retires in 2017.
The board of directors also approved the promotion of Brian Kaylor to the position of associate director. Kaylor is the longest-tenured member of the Churchnet staff, hired during the organization’s first year by then-executive director H. K. Neely.
Ford is a graduate of William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and completed his M.Div. at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kan., in 2000, where he is currently serving as an adjunct professor. He has a D.Min. degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.
Ford has served on the board of Churchnet and was elected earlier this year as the board’s vice president. He also has served as a board member for the Missouri Baptist Foundation and the Missouri Baptist Historical Society and was elected a member of the CBF Heartland coordinating council in 2015.
Kaylor, a former communications professor at James Madison University and author of several books, has held several positions with Churchnet, most recently as team leader for generational engagement.
Churchnet is a member of the Baptist World Alliance, representing 150 churches and 35,000 members.