Pastor Juston Gates of First Baptist Church, Forsyth, Missouri, has been elected by the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home board of trustees to serve as the MBCH’s next president.
The MBCH is a Cooperative Program supported entity of the Missouri Baptist Convention.
“On Jan. 23, the MBCH board selected Juston Gates to lead, guide and steward this ministry,” an MBCH press release stated. “During this search process, it became clear to the MBCH board that Gates possessed the strength and leadership to guide us into the future.”
Last January, MBCH president Russell Martin announced plans to retire on June 1, 2024, thus launching a nationwide search for the right person to take up the mantle of leadership. Martin expressed his approval of Gates’ recent election.
“I am pleased with the decision of the search committee to recommend Dr. Juston Gates as the next president of MBCH,” Martin said. “I believe he has the leadership skills that are needed at this time to lead the agency to fulfill its mission. I say this because I have observed Dr. Gates in his role on the executive board and particularly as he serves as chair of the administrative committee. His experience and background, along with his sense of God’s call to serve Him in an executive position, should serve him well in this role. I will also add that I highly recommended him to the Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Services of Illinois earlier, when it was seeking a chief executive officer, but he did not feel led to accept that position when it was offered him.”
‘Deep ties’ to MBC life
Gates will begin his transition as president on May 1 in preparation of the full transition by July. He is not new to Missouri or the ministry of MBCH. He has served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Forsyth, Missouri, since August 2012, with deep ties to MBC life and the ministry of MBCH.
Gates has been married to his wife Amanda for 25 years. They are the proud parents of three children: Elizabeth, Caleb and Leah. Gates has pastored churches in Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas since 2000, and in Missouri since 2012. Prior to entering the pastorate, Gates worked law enforcement with police departments in Memphis, Tennessee, Tupelo, Mississippi, and Allen, Texas, while also serving as a Federal Agent with the United States Border Patrol. “His pastor’s heart mixed with his desire to serve and protect the defenseless in difficult situations equips him with a unique skill set to lead with a shepherd’s heart and a servant mindset,” an MBCH press release stated.
Gates earned a master of divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and his doctor of ministry from Luther Rice Seminary in Georgia.
“I anticipate maintaining the great work already being carried out by MBCH and its affiliates, and building on that solid foundation as we enter into new and exciting areas and aspects of ministry to children, youth, and families across our state,” Gates said.