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Trustees approve John Kramp, Jerry Rhyne as LifeWay VPs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–John Kramp and Jerry Rhyne were approved as new vice presidents of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention during the entity’s trustee meeting Feb. 8.

Kramp will become vice president of LifeWay’s church resources division effective March 1, after serving as interim vice president since August 2004.

Rhyne will serve as chief financial officer and vice president of the finance and business services division, succeeding Jim Carter July 1.

Kramp, who has served at LifeWay in a variety of roles for nearly 13 years, will direct the operations of the LifeWay division that produces Sunday School curricula, discipleship materials, church training events, music, audio and video products, and two Vacation Bible School lines. With more than 600 employees, church resources is one of LifeWay’s largest divisions.

Kramp said he is excited by the opportunity to continue working as vice president. “What I love is the diversity of things church resources does,” he said. “I love all the parts of what we do, and we want to continue to help churches keep a clear focus in their ministries.”

He also will work to develop LifeWay’s relationships with external networks and partners such as state conventions, associations and seminaries. “The work of helping churches is so great that we must work hand-in-hand with others,” Kramp said. “We value our network partners and look forward to even greater work together in the future.”

LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr. referred to Kramp as “a minister and a church businessman with an MBA degree” in his letter of recommendation to trustees.

“During these past six months we have been working with John in this role, praying for God’s leadership, and talking with key leaders inside and outside LifeWay,” Draper wrote. “All of this has led us back to John as God’s man for this time in leading this division.”

Kramp earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, a master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. During his career Kramp has been a church planter, associate pastor and senior pastor.

He and his wife, Lynn Marie, have two children and live in Franklin, Tenn.

Rhyne currently serves as director of finance and corporate controller and will take the helm of the finance and business services division after 32 years at LifeWay. Rhyne said this new role as chief financial officer gives him the opportunity to help “insure the continued ministries of LifeWay by promoting sound financial decision-making.”

The finance and business services division encompasses finance and accounting, human resources, legal services, investment services, purchasing, facility and risk management, strategic planning, corporate services and logistics.

As a member of the executive management group, Rhyne will be responsible for the company’s financial operations, corporate policies and the conduct of LifeWay’s relationship with lending institutions and external auditors.

“What I’ve tried to do over the years was to lead by three simple yet biblically-based principles,” Rhyne said. “First, always do your best, and to do your best you have to be well-trained, knowledgeable and exhibit the effort that is required for the task at hand. Second, always do what’s right. If there is ever a question about integrity, take the correct road. Finally, always treat others as you want to be treated. I’ve read many management books, but the best one is still the Scripture.”

Carter described Rhyne as a Christian businessman who has comprehensive knowledge of finance and accounting, who has gained respect from both LifeWay leadership and others within the Southern Baptist Convention.

“Over the years, he has provided stable, consistent leadership within the division and has demonstrated a high acumen for business and accounting,” Carter said. “He has the academic background, the knowledge of the functions within our division, and maintains a close walk with the Lord.”

Rhyne earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tennessee Technological University and a master’s in business administration from Vanderbilt University. He also is a certified public accountant.

Rhyne’s wife, Sherry, is a registered nurse and works part-time in marketing and patient evaluation at Nashville Rehabilitation Hospital. They have four grown children and four grandchildren who live in the Nashville area.

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