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New England executive director Ken Lyle announces retirement

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass (BP)–Ken Lyle has been involved in full-time Christian ministry since 1957 when he was called to be the youth director at Calvary Baptist Church in Tupelo, Miss. Now, after nearly seven years as executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England, Lyle announced his retirement from his position effective June 30.

Lyle, 63, told the “New England Baptist” he is looking forward to new opportunities for ministry following his retirement, but he will miss the people of New England. “We’ve had a wonderful seven years. God has put a lot of things in place,” Lyle said. “I think the convention is strong and capable of moving forward. I don’t anticipate the convention even missing a step, really.

“Primarily, it is God’s leading that this is the right timing for us to retire and to get new leadership into place here in the Baptist Convention of New England,” Lyle added. “I’m confident that there are a number of folks who can take this job and move it to the next level in the future.”

Lyle said he plans to continue preaching and teaching as well as serving as a consultant with urban groups. “I want to spend more time with family, of course,” he said. ‘We have a granddaughter who will be returning to the United States for college. She is now serving with her parents in Thailand. We want to be more available to her and to our other grandchildren. Perhaps we will do some special things with ‘missionary kids’ if the Lord opens the door.”

He said the greatest joy of his ministry in New England has been the people on his staff and in the churches. “God had given Judy and me the opportunity to be in numerous churches, teaching, preaching, worshipping, and sharing. We have enjoyed just being out among the folks, sharing encouragement and seeking to motivate and help our pastors and laity to continue on the journey,” he said.

Lyle has a long history of ministry with Southern Baptist churches and state conventions. The native Texan, earned an undergraduate degree from Mississippi College and graduate degrees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Georgetown College. He also attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

His first fulltime ministry position was youth director at Calvary Baptist Church in Tupelo, Miss. He also served in churches in Texas, Georgia and New York. Prior to his appointment at the Baptist Convention of New England, Lyle was the executive director-treasurer of the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware from 1982-1993.

Lyle is married to the former Judith Gail Deuschle of Tupelo, Miss. They have four married children, Christine L. Waddail, Sandra L. Hammack, Kenneth R. Lyle, Jr.; and Scott J. Lyle. The Lyles also have 11 grandchildren.

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  • Todd Starnes