By Jonathan Howe
SALINA, Kan. (BP) — David Manner, a 20-year veteran of Southern Baptist work in Kansas-Nebraska was named the new state executive director for the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists on Friday, Oct. 16.
He was elected to the post by the KNCSB Mission Board during its meeting held at CrossPoint Church due to the cancellation of the state annual meeting. Manner will assume the role March 1, 2021, and will succeed Bob Mills who announced his retirement earlier this year.
Manner joined the KNCSB as its director of worship and administration in 2000 and moved into the role of associate state executive director in 2012. Prior to his time at the state convention office, he served on church staffs for more than 20 years including 13 years at Pleasantview Baptist in Derby, Kan., as director of worship an administration.
Manner said in an interview that he wants “the state convention to be seen as more of a partner than just as a resource by our associations, campus ministries, and churches.”
“We are currently working with NAMB to rethink our convention,” Manner stated. “We are about eight months into that process of working with NAMB and Will Mancini through the Denominee program. We believe that’s going to be a great push in the future for us to connect more with all of our churches in more of an expanded partnership.
“Instead of us serving as the go-to resource, we will help curate responses and resources from leaders and churches who are doing ministry well.”
Manner holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, a master’s degree from The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctorate of worship studies from Robert E. Webber Institute of Worship Studies. He recently released “Better Sundays Begin on Monday: 52 Exercises for Evaluating Weekly Worship.” The book offers “foundational worship considerations to help leadership teams ask questions evaluatively rather than defensively.”
A native of Ardmore, Okla., David and his wife Karen, a school teacher, have been married for nearly 40 years and have one adult daughter and son-in-law, Jessa and Cullen Swearingen.
KNCSB serves more than 83,000 Southern Baptists through its 460+ congregations. The two-state convention was founded in 1945 and was scheduled to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. That celebration was pushed to 2021 after this year’s annual meeting was canceled due to concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. KNCSB is the oldest of the new-work conventions in the SBC.
Jonathan Howe is vice president for communications at the SBC Executive Committee.