Associate Professor of Church Planting
Kenny was born and raised in Minneapolis. He came to know the saving grace of God in Christ during the summer of 1973 at a Bible camp. After high school graduation, he enrolled at Bethel College. At Bethel, he met his wife, Kathy, and they were married in December 1979. He graduated with a double major in Psychology and Biblical/Theological Studies in 1981.
One year after graduating from college, he entered Bethel Seminary. Led by the Lord to grow in the area of pastoral counseling/pastoral care, he increasingly focused on that area in his studies and is thankful to the Lord for the internship experience God gave him at Bethlehem. As an Apprentice in Bethlehem’s program for seminary students, his internship was focused on pastoral care, pastoral counseling, pre-marital counseling, and marriage and family ministries. During seminary, he was selected to receive the Gordon Johnson Scholarship for Expository Preaching (which he declined). He graduated from Bethel Seminary with an M.Div. degree in 1988.
In August 1988, the Lord called Kenny to Oak Hill Baptist Church in Humboldt, Iowa. After 10 years preaching and pastoring there, the Lord then called Kenny back to Bethlehem as Pastor for Urban Ministries in September 1998. In March 2003, in response to the elder’s growing sense the God was calling Bethlehem to develop an intentional church planting strategy, Kenny was appointed the Pastor for Church Planting and Strategic Mobilization. In July 2005, Kenny became Lead Pastor for Spreading, overseeing the outreach ministry departments at Bethlehem, a role that is now filled by Ken Currie (as Lead Pastor for Outreach). In July 2011, the congregation approved the elder recommendation that Kenny Stokes become Lead (Campus) Pastor, Downtown Campus.
As Lead Pastor for Downtown Campus, Kenny works to mobilize the pastors and elders of his campus to provide care for the campus congregation as well as to see that the Word is faithfully taught and preached. He also coordinates collaborative pastoral leadership on his campus in the ministry areas of worship, nurture, and outreach. Kenny continues to provide pastoral leadership and oversight of our Treasuring Christ Together (TCT) church planting efforts.
Since 1979, Kenny & Kathy have been happily sustained by grace in their marriage and are the parents of four wonderful children. Kenny enjoys playing the guitar and lap swimming.
- B.A., Bethel University
- M.Div., Bethel University