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Smaller church pastors receive LifeWay pastor-staff honors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–George Miller, pastor of Magna View Baptist Church in Talbott, Tenn., and John Ryan, pastor of Summit Community Church in St. Charles, Mo., have been honored as outstanding smaller church pastors of the year by the pastor-staff leadership department at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Miller was honored during the National Conference for Church Leadership at Ridgecrest (N.C.), a LifeWay Conference Center, at the end of June and Ryan will be recognized in July at Glorieta (N.M.), a LifeWay Conference Center.

James Williams, director of missions of the Nolachucky Baptist Association, nominated Miller for the award, noting that the church has “experienced great growth in all areas” under Miller’s leadership.

When he came to the church two years ago, Magna View’s attendance was declining. Worship attendance has since increased from 60 to more than 150.

Last summer the church sponsored a mission trip to Idaho to help with the construction of a church.

In addition to being an outstanding pastor, Miller also serves as the associational Sunday school and VBS director. He teaches an off-campus religion course for Carson-Newman College while pursuing his master’s degree through Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ryan started the Summit Community Church two years ago with a mission to “reach the unchurched.” The church, which began with only three couples, now consistently averages more than 150. Fifty percent of those reached by Summit Community Church have no church background.

“He has been a model in church planting and development in our association,” said Benny King, director of missions for the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, in his nomination of Ryan. “I doubt you will discover any man who has reached more unchurched people in as a short time as John Ryan.”

Ryan has used block parties, kids clubs, youth missions groups and servant evangelism to reach the unchurched in his area. He has trained members to lead home Bible study groups and to reach the lost in their community. The church has moved to three locations due to its growth.

The recognition of the two pastors includes a gift of resources for the church from LifeWay.

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  • Hilary Palmer