LEXINGTON, Ky. (BP) – Immanuel Baptist Church’s membership was unanimous in calling Ron Edmondson to be the senior pastor for the second time on Sunday (May 22).
“Cheryl and I are humbled to be returning to Immanuel Baptist Church,” Edmondson said. “We certainly did not see this coming in our life, but I consider it one of the highest honors to be called twice as pastor of this great, historic church.”
Edmondson was senior pastor of Immanuel for six years before leaving in 2018 after leading the church through a revitalization period to become one of the country’s 100 fastest-growing churches, according to Outreach magazine.
Since leaving Immanuel, he has served in several notable leadership roles throughout the country, including as CEO of Leadership Network in Dallas, a church growth and innovation organization. He also served at Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee, while continuing to coach and consult businesses and business leaders around the country.
Dale Suttles, a member at IBC and the president of Kentucky Baptists’ Sunrise Children’s Services, said Edmonson and his wife were beloved at the church.
“Ron was always available, very personable and well-liked in the congregation,” Suttles said. “God had called him do to some other things. Sometimes God calls you back full circle. Immanuel is an important church in Lexington, and he understands its presence. He gets along with city officials and plays an integral part of putting Immanuel stride for stride in the community.”
For his part, the 57-year-old Edmondson is looking to increase the church’s reach.
“The first time we believed God called us to stabilize and position the church to grow again,” he said. “The Lord did more than we could ask or imagine during that season. This time, however, the church is healthy and well-positioned. We feel our calling now is to encourage even more kingdom impact in Lexington, central Kentucky and around the world.”
Edmondson, who has been serving as interim teaching pastor, will begin serving as senior pastor on Aug. 1.
Suttles said Immanuel and Edmondson will continue their legacy of support for Baptist cooperation.
“I’m sure that Ron will embrace the Cooperative Program and he always has. Immanuel will continue that great relationship,” Suttles said.
Edmondson said: “I always said Immanuel needs to live by the ‘to whom much is given’ standard. We are elated to be a part of all God continues to do in the incredible season ahead. To God be all the glory!”