The American Pastors Network, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, is welcoming a new state pastors network to its growing organization.
This week, APN is launching the Missouri Pastors Network (MOPN, www.mopastors.net), a uniquely gifted group of pastors in Missouri who are joining together to “Stand in the Gap for Truth.”
“The American Pastors Network has been standing in the gap for truth around America and is growing again through the new Missouri Pastors Network,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who is also president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net). “We know that pastors there will be an invaluable support to one another as they engage their congregations to stand for truth and freedom and effect true change in the culture.”
Leading the Missouri network as its president will be J. Keith Carnahan, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in St. Robert. Joining him as vice president will be Monte Shinkle of Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City, and Steve Proctor of Westwood Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, who will serve as secretary/treasurer.
“I am excited and blessed to work with other believers and pastors in my home state through the Missouri Pastors Network to advance the cause of Christ and preserve religious liberty,” Carnahan said.
Carnahan was born into a Christian family in 1954 and was born again in 1964. Following the example of his parents, he grew up serving in their local church. Surrendering to preach the gospel at the age of 24 brought an abrupt halt to his dreams of buying the family business. Supported by his wife, Cheryn, he spent the next three years preparing for the gospel ministry. In 1981, he moved his wife and three children to southern Illinois to plant Grace Baptist Church and begin a Christian school.
The new ministry soon came into conflict with the state of Illinois, which planned to put church property on the tax rolls. Grace Baptist became the test case in this battle, and a victory was won for all churches in the state. The experience left Carnahan with the firm conviction that Christians must vigorously defend religious liberty.
In 1991, the Carnahan family returned to Missouri to accept the pastorate of Maranatha Baptist Church and school in St. Robert. The church serves the military community of Fort Leonard Wood and has experienced wonderful blessings over the past 26 years.
Carnahan continues to promote religious liberty by serving as the Legislative Director for the Missouri Association of Christian Schools. He also oversees the Committee on Legislative Education and Action for Religious Liberty (C.L.E.A.R.) in the state of Missouri.