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Mike Stokes (OH)Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives. Profiling leaders reveals a diverse combination of traits, but changing lives is a common theme.


Leader Profile


Mike Stokes, Ohio

How many leaders can claim they have worked in the same state leadership role for 25 years? The Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists honored Mike Stokes this year for serving as state clerk for 25 years. Promotional Director Edwin Hayes (quoting Robert Henry) said with a smile, “The only time Free Will Baptists believe in eternal security is when we keep reelecting the same clerk to keep the minutes.”

Being a clerk requires an immense amount of detail and understanding of the flow and order of meetings. Mike received a plaque for his service and continues to serve in the role.

Originally from LaFollette, Tennessee, the Stokes family moved to Ohio to find work. His dad passed away while he was young, and Mike was required to be a leader much earlier than most young men. While still a child, he felt the call of God to preach but did not yield to the call even while faithfully walking with God.

Midway through his career as a quality control supervisor in the tool and die industry, God spoke to him on the job so clearly it almost frightened him. In that moment in 1979, He answered the call to preach and served as a bivocational minister until he retired. He continues to fill many pulpits in the state of Ohio and has pastored three churches.

A year ago Mike was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. Through God’s grace, he has endured seven surgeries, three life-threatening stints in ICU, intense radiation, and recently has learned to use an artificial voice box. Those who hear him speak today can still hear Mike’s personality in this new sounding voice. He said his wife Judi has been his invaluable strength through these recent health issues, and he loves spending time with her. He pointed out that he was introduced to Free Will Baptists by dating Judi back in 1961. Mike Stokes you are a great leader!


Fast Facts About Mike

What are your favorite books?

  • 1776 by David McCullough

  • Flying Closer to the Flame by Chuck Swindoll

  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan


Who is your favorite author? Chuck Swindoll


One-word description of his daughter Pam (43): wonderful


Quiet Time Habits:

He described special moments with the Lord and noted that every night before he goes to sleep, he says, “Father, I am resting in You.”

Leadership Profile is a regular column sponsored by Randall House Publications that features a different Free Will Baptist pastor or leader in each issue.

Contact Danny Conn to nominate a leader.










©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists