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. Kenny graduated with a double major in Psychology and Biblical/Theological Studies in 1981.
One year after graduating from college, Kenny 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. 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, in September 1998, the Lord called Kenny back to Bethlehem as Pastor for Urban Ministries. In March 2003, in response to the elder’s growing sense that 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. In July 2011, the congregation approved the elder recommendation that Kenny Stokes become Lead (Campus) Pastor, Downtown Campus, in addition to overseeing church planting work.
In 2016 the congregation voted and approved Kenny’s most recent role as Pastor for Church Planting, where he continues to provide pastoral leadership and oversight of Bethlehem’s church planting work, the Treasuring Christ Together (TCTN) church planting efforts, and the Church Planting concentration at Bethlehem College and Seminary.
Since 1979, Kenny & Kathy have been happily sustained by grace in their marriage and are the parents of four grown children and 5 grandchildren. Kenny enjoys time with family and friends, lap swimming, reading historical nonfiction, and music.
- B.A., Bethel University
- M.Div., Bethel University