I have been a pastor for over thirty years. My church, Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is 52 years old and has been pastored by my father, me, and now my son. It has often been included in the top 100 churches of America.
I was raised in a ministry family and observed the success of my parents’ 63 years of life together. I began preaching at age 16, over 46 years ago. After college, I spent two years in West Africa as a missionary. I returned for five years as an associate pastor at my father’s church before being named as the Lead Pastor in 1983.
My tenure as pastor was marked by an emphasis on missions. In 28 years, we gave over $63 million dollars to missions (local and foreign). We also implemented a small group structure in 1993 that became a national model. My first book, The Cell Church (Regal, 1995), has been translated into many languages and is still in use worldwide as a cell church handbook. In 2000, many of our 28 associate pastors took the skills they learned in small group ministry and began planting their own churches. Three of them now have 55,000 in weekend attendance every weekend and one is the fourth largest church in America.
In 2001, I began the Surge Project, a church planting model based on mentoring and multiplication. By 2015, over 22,000 small, rural churches have been planted in twelve world zones. My second book, The Remnant (CharismaMedia) was written to help correct leadership implosion and to give the ten most important principles of ministry. Over 120,000 free copies have been distributed to pastors in six languages worldwide.
My latest book, Model Man, expands the mentoring principles I have used for pastors and small group leaders to specifically help men live a life of “integrity to legacy.”
I have been married to my wife, Melanie (follow her on Twitter at @MelStockstill) for thirty-nine years. We have six children, five sons and a daughter. All six of them are in ministry with us. We have three grandsons and three granddaughters. We live outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana.