Rev. Mike Ramsdell to be next Executive Director of Smith Center for Evangelism & Church Growth

Rev. Ramsdell to succeed current ECG Executive Director Gary Lindley, following his July 1 retirement.

by J. Vance Morton*
Bishop Mike Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, has announced that Rev. Mike Ramsdell will be appointed as the Executive Director of the Smith Center for Evangelism & Church Growth (ECG), effective July 1. Rev. Ramsdell currently serves as the conference’s North District Superintendent. Rev. Travis Franklin has been announced to take over that position on July 1. The ECG’s current Executive Director, Rev. Gary Lindley, will retire on July 1.
“In the last year, Mike Ramsdell has served with distinction as North District Superintendent and has a phenomenal track record of building vital congregations – both evangelistically and missionally,” Bishop Lowry said. “This experience will be invaluable in his transition to the role of Executive Director of Evangelism and New Church Growth. He will bring outstanding leadership to the position.”
“I have absolutely loved my time as the North District Superintendent!” Rev. Ramsdell exclaimed. “It has been a blessing and wonderful experience and a lot of fun. I very much look forward to continuing and expanding upon the relationships forged in the past year.”
“At the same time,” Mike continued, “I’m quite excited about the opportunity to serve the conference as a whole via the Center for Evangelism and Church Growth. I love helping churches grow, expanding on wonderful ministries as well as launching new faith communities.”
“Mike has demonstrated his commitment to new church development and welded it to the cutting edge of shifting new faith community development,” stated Bishop Lowry. “I’m delighted that Mike will continue to bring his wealth of experience in building vital congregations to the Cabinet as well.”
Prior to being appointed as North District Superintendent, Rev. Ramsdell served four appointments in his near-40 years of ministry in the Central Texas Conference. Appointments at Bangs, Waxahachie Ferris Heights and Joshua UMCs make up the first 17 years of his pastoral resume. For the next 21 years, Mike served First Mansfield as senior (20 years) and co-pastor (final year). When he came to First Methodist Mansfield in 1995, the average attendance was 487. In 2016, his final year as co-senior pastor, those numbers had grown to more than 2,500 each Sunday. During his time at First Mansfield, there were close to 2,000 professions of faith, four new worships services and venues added and a great expansion of the life and mission of the Church - in the greater Mansfield community as well as globally in places such as Guatemala, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Mexico and India.
Rev. Ramsdell has also led or been an active member on many conference and connectional ministries. Mike was the chairperson of the CTC Exodus Project Task Force and chaired the conference’s Division of Elders for 10 years and been chair and vice chair of the Church Growth Commission. He has served on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the East District Committee on Ministry and been active for many years in “The Leading Edge” – a gathering of the pastors of the Top 100 attended Methodist Churches.
Mike is a graduate of San Angelo Central High School. Following high school, he served six years in the U.S. Navy, received a BA from Central Bible College, and a Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School.
Mike is married to Rhonda. They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren (5 boys and 4 girls).
*Vance is the director of Communications & IT for the CTC.