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Ohio pastor Chad Keck to be 2nd VP nominee

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) — Ohio pastor Chad Keck will be nominated for second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June, a fellow Ohio pastor announced April 7.

Keck has been senior pastor of the Dayton-area First Baptist Church of Kettering since December 2010, having earlier served churches in Florida, Texas and Tennessee during 14 years in the ministry. He also is a former collegiate ministry event coordinator for LifeWay Christian Resources.

David Starry, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Vandalia, Ohio, also in the Dayton area, said in relaying the nomination announcement that Keck “has a deep love for the local church, a Great Commission mindset and a strong commitment to personal evangelism.”

Keck “knows firsthand what many churches in our convention are experiencing and trying to understand: How to revitalize a church which is declining or is in a state of plateau,” Starry noted. Keck accepted the call to First Baptist in Kettering “during a difficult season in the life of the church,” when it had been without a pastor for a significant time “and both attendance and giving had fallen sharply,” Starry said. “The church owed almost $9 million in debt and had cut Cooperative Program giving to less than 1% in order to pay bills and keep the doors open.”

The Kettering church has since “experienced significant growth; the debt level is coming down; but most importantly, the excitement and passion for the Gospel is up,” Starry wrote in an open letter. “This year, under Chad’s leadership, FBC Kettering will give over 4% to the Cooperative Program, and he has put in place a plan to continue to significantly increase this percentage over the next few years. FBC Kettering is truly a case study on what a turnaround church can look like in our convention.”

Keck holds a doctorate in educational ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.; a master of arts in biblical studies/theology from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville; and an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, where he sensed a call to ministry as a college senior. He is the author of two books, “Ordinarily Faithful, Life Lessons from the Judges: Gideon” and “Vital Skills: How to be a Campus Missionary.”

Keck and his wife Candace, married for 14 years, have two children and are in the process of adopting two more children from China, Starry reported.

Starry, in his nomination announcement, said the turnaround at First Baptist Kettering “is no doubt due to the work of God, which began as a result of the church’s renewed outward focus facilitated by prayer. Chad knows that without the power of God being poured out, nothing of eternal significance will happen.

“The prayers of FBC Kettering led them outward with a strong Great Commission focus,” Starry wrote. The church adopted the unreached Ci people group in Benin, West Africa, in 2012 and is supporting a pastors’ training school and planting seven churches there. In 2013 First Baptist became involved with the North American Mission Board’s Send North America church planting strategy in key cities, supporting Encounter Church in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in the Montreal area.

Keck is the first announced nominee for any of the SBC officer positions to be elected during the convention’s June 16-17 annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

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