In almost three years of writing My Grace-Full Life, I’ve never interviewed someone for this column. So this month has a bit of a different direction than normal. But it’s something I’m so excited about… It’s my tremendous honor to introduce our readers to my new pastor, Tyler Tankersley.
Tyler Tankersley and his family are the answer to countless prayers by the congregation of Ardmore Baptist Church. Commissioned in the summer of 2018, Ardmore’s pastor search team spent 12 months evaluating the church’s needs, as well as researching and carefully vetting many great candidates. Tyler quickly moved into the spotlight as the one the Holy Spirit was calling to lead the church.
The Tankersleys, including Jessica, Henry, Owen, and Charlotte, moved to Winston-Salem in late July from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Tyler had his first Sunday in the pulpit on August 4th.
“I have served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau for four years,” shared Tyler. “I love that church and the congregation. I wasn’t looking for another position, but this position found me. Throughout the process of talking to Ardmore’s pastor search team and even on the Call Sunday, we have felt the hand of the Holy Spirit on this move.
“As much as we will miss the fellowship of our previous church,” Tyler continued, “We are so excited to grow and serve with the Ardmore Baptist Church community! Our family has begun exploring our new city, and we love the area. It appeals to all my favorite hobbies—great restaurants to visit, fun coffee shops, places to hike, and wonderful opportunities to be creative and have fun with our children. Jessica and I are thrilled to raise our family in Forsyth County.”
A Personal Calling
Micah 6:8 NRSV says, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” This is Tyler’s life verse, and it’s a verse that Tyler will emulate and hold close as he begins to minister to Ardmore Baptist Church and community.
“I believe the church has a responsibility to serve and give others a sense of belonging. Loneliness is a real issue in our world—despite all the ways we are social and connected,” mused Tyler. “Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called it a ‘loneliness epidemic,’ and he identified loneliness as a crisis that has a significant impact on our health. It’s our responsibility within the church to create a sense of community. And that’s something that Ardmore Baptist Church does well, and is committed to doing even better.”
“During the year of transition at Ardmore Baptist Church, leadership has spent many months in self-reflection,” said Tyler. With a missional heart at the core of Ardmore’s values, the staff, deacons, committees, and congregation have endeavored to identify strengths and weaknesses in an effort to serve others better, especially as preparations were being made for a new senior pastor.
“As a pastor,” Tyler continued, “I have rarely seen a church with this kind of self-awareness and determination to become more. It’s an exciting time to step into leadership at Ardmore, because the church has been diligently looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s through missions, outreach, and living out the Gospel that we can create that sense of belonging and help eradicate the loneliness that is so pervasive within our society. We look forward to welcoming others and celebrating the joy of a life lived for Christ at Ardmore Baptist Church!”
Ardmore Baptist Church is located at 501 Miller Street in Winston-Salem. Find online at www.ArdmoreBaptist.org, and visit soon to meet and hear new Senior Pastor, Tyler Tankersley.
In addition to Tyler’s new role as Senior Pastor at Ardmore Baptist Church, his wife, Jessica, has also joined the Ardmore Baptist Preschool staff. Tyler shared, “My wife has been so impressed by the church’s commitment to serving families and children—especially with their spiritual formation. It’s clear that the youth and children’s ministries of Ardmore Baptist, including Ardmore Preschool, are intentionally and purposefully designed.
“Not only does this appeal to her as a mother,” Tyler continued, “but Jessica’s background is in preschool teaching. Her experience in Reggio Emilia instruction has provided an added and unexpected bonus to our relationship with Ardmore Baptist Church. Jessica is a new teacher at Ardmore Baptist Preschool.”