- President & CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources – Nashville, TN
- Pastor, Storyline Fellowship – Arvada, Colo.
- Pastor, Englewood Baptist Church – Jackson, Tenn.
- Campus Minister, Union University – Jackson, Tenn.
- Ouachita Baptist University – Arkadelphia, Ark.
- K-Life Ministries – Orlando, Fla.
- Sterling Christian School – Sterling, Ill.
- D.Min., Union University – Jackson, Tenn.
- M.Div., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – Louisville, Ky.
- B.S., Anderson University – Anderson, Ind.
Mandrell unanimously elected as LifeWay’s 10th president and CEO
LifeWay Christian Resources trustees unanimously elected Dr. Ben Mandrell as the organization’s 10th president during a special-called meeting on June 28, 2019, in Atlanta.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead in such an important season for LifeWay,” Mandrell told trustees during the plenary session. “My first priority is to get our family to Nashville and begin loving the people at LifeWay. There is already an amazing team in place, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and work alongside them.”
Mandrell, 42, comes to LifeWay from his role as lead pastor at Storyline Fellowship in Arvada, Colo. Two days after the June 21 announcement of his nomination to lead LifeWay, Mandrell delivered a heartfelt sermon to his congregation explaining his decision to relocate his family to Nashville.
“All through Scripture, we learn that God is a calling God,” Mandrell said in his sermon. “He dials our number and we have to answer. We have to take His calls.” When considering the decision to accept the search committee’s nomination, Mandrell said he had “a wrestling match with God like I have never experienced before.”
Mandrell has served as lead pastor of Storyline Fellowship since its founding in 2014.
A ‘man of character’
“This is a significant and momentous day in the history of LifeWay,” said trustee chairman Jimmy Scroggins as he thanked the search committee for their hard work and commitment to the task.
“Ben is a man of character, integrity, godly strength and humility,” said Scroggins, lead pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla. “I appreciate his relentless commitment to seeing people come to know Christ and to see churches that preach the gospel have the resources they need to advance the Kingdom.”
Kent Dacus, who led the presidential search committee, said the process of finding the next CEO of LifeWay was extensive, methodical and deliberate with the team examining a diverse field of candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds.
“All throughout the process, we were focused solely on the best person for the position and for the person God was already preparing to lead LifeWay in this new season,” Dacus said. “We found a man who is deeply committed to God’s Word and has an incredible passion for the local church.”
Dacus praised the search committee for their prayerful and steadfast effort the past 10 months. “These men and women have worked in one accord and sought the Lord’s guidance every step of the way,” he said.
LifeWay’s presidential search committee was appointed in August 2018. The committee included chairman Kent Dacus (Calif.), Bill Langley (Ky.), Millie Burkett (Ore.), Brad McLean (Texas), Madeline Harris (Penn.), Todd Fannin (Okla.), and Luther McDaniel (Tenn.).
A native of Tampico, Ill., Mandrell is a 1998 graduate of Anderson (Ind.) University. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
Mandrell and his wife, Lynley, have been married 18 years. The couple has four children: Ava (15), Max (13), Miles (12) and Jack (11).
“I can see the hand of God preparing me for this significant moment at LifeWay,” Mandrell said.
Established in Nashville, Tenn., in 1891, LifeWay is one of the world’s largest providers of Christian products and services, including Bibles, books, Bible studies, music, church supplies and other Christian resources. Learn more at LifeWay.com.
The Mandrell Family
Ben, Lynley, Ava, Max, Miles, and Jack
"Ben loves the Lord, his family, and the local church. He understands the importance of both strong theology and practical relevance. I see him as one of God's gifts to the SBC, and I could not be more thrilled for the future of LifeWay."
Chuck Lawless, Dean of Doctoral Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Ben is a gifted, visionary, and strategic leader. His multiple gifts, bright mind, and relational leadership style will serve LifeWay well at this time. I am excited and hopeful for the future of LifeWay."
David S. Dockery, Chancellor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"Ben Mandrell has proven himself as an incredible church planter, pastor, and innovative leader. He has the unique ability to connect with people of all ages and will be an outstanding steward of LifeWay's future."
Kevin Ezell, President, North American Mission Board
"Ben Mandrell is the kind of visionary, disruptive leader that LifeWay needs just at this moment. I am thrilled with this choice."
J.D. Greear, President, Southern Baptist Convention
"I could not be more excited about the nomination of Ben Mandrell to be president of LifeWay. God has raised up the right man for the right leadership at the right time."
Thom S. Rainer, Founder & CEO, Church Answers
"Ben Mandrell is a strong leader with unusual insight and discernment. He has a deep passion for following Jesus and an incredible resolve to do exactly as the Lord leads him."
David Uth, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Orlando