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introducing michael slaughter

Mike Slaughter, pastor emeritus and global church ambassador for Ginghamsburg Church, served for nearly four decades as the lead pastor and chief dreamer of Ginghamsburg and the spiritual entrepreneur of ministry marketplace innovations. Mike is also the founder and chief strategist of Passionate Churches, LLC, which specializes in developing pastors, church staff and church lay leaders through coaching, training, consulting and facilitation services. Mike’s life-long passion to reach the lost and set the oppressed free has now made him a tireless and leading advocate for the children, women and men of Darfur, Sudan, once named by the U.N. as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Mike’s call to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted challenges Jesus followers to wrestle with God and their God-destinies. 

When Mike arrived at Ginghamsburg Church in 1979, worship attendance hovered at 90 with 118 members and an annual budget of $27,000. Today 4500 guests on average worship or grow weekly at Ginghamsburg and the multi-million dollar budget helps resource a faith community committed to serving the poor, lost and disenfranchised. 

Under Mike’s leadership, Ginghamsburg Church became known as an early innovator of small group ministry, the Church “media reformation” and cyberministry. Since initiating The Sudan Project in January 2005, Ginghamsburg has invested more than $8 million into sustainable humanitarian relief projects in Darfur, Sudan and South Sudan. The resultant agricultural project, child development program, safe water and health care initiatives reach a quarter of a million Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees, returnees and villagers. Mike has visited (three times) the internally displaced persons’ camps and villages in South Darfur served through The Sudan Project to witness firsthand God’s “loaves and fishes” miracle and to reconfirm for the Sudanese people Ginghamsburg’s determined commitment toward completing the mission that has been placed before it. Ginghamsburg has also raised $875,000 toward Imagine No Malaria, the first installments on a $1 million pledge. Locally, the New Path outreach arm of Ginghamsburg Church annually serves more than 58,000 people in surrounding communities via its food pantry, car, clothing and furniture ministries. In 2005 and 2006, Ginghamsburg was named as one of the top 50 churches in the U.S. by The Church Report magazine. In 2007, The Church Report listed Mike as one of the 50 most influential Christians in America. 

As a mentor, Mike travels globally to speak and uses his “gift of irritation” to equip ministry leaders to minimize brick and maximize mission so that they may fully deploy the mission of Jesus into the world. He is also the author of multiple books including Down to Earth (Abingdon Press); The Passionate Church: Ignite Your Church and Change the World (Abingdon Press); The Christian Wallet: Spending, Giving & Living with a Conscience (Westminster John Knox Press); RENEGADE GOSPEL: Rebel Jesus (Abingdon Press); Dare to Dream (Abingdon Press); Shiny Gods (Abingdon Press); Christmas Is Not Your Birthday: Experience the Joy of Living and Giving Like Jesus (Abingdon Press) and Change The World: Recovering The Message and Mission of Jesus (Abingdon Press), among others.

Mike is an ordained Elder within the United Methodist Church (UMC) and holds a Doctorate of Ministry. He was named the Foundation for Evangelism’s “Distinguished Evangelist” in 2003 and has twice received the Denman Evangelism Award from the Foundation in recognition of demonstrated leadership in promoting the United Methodist Church’s historic commitment to evangelism. In 2007, Olivet Nazarene University granted Mike the Reed Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, given in recognition of outstanding leadership. Mike was recognized as the Outstanding Doctor of Ministry Alumnus in October 2014 by United Theological Seminary. In May 2016, United Theological Seminary awarded Mike an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. In April 2017, Mike received the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from the University of Cincinnati School of Social Work.

Mike lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife Carolyn. Their children are daughter Kristen (Slaughter) Leavitt with husband Brendan, as well as son Jonathan with wife Stacy. Mike and Carolyn have three granddaughters, Ellie, Addison and Anna, and three grandsons, Luke, Caleb and Jack. For more information or to catch up with Mike, check out his weekly blog:

"Jesus followers are not waiting for heaven but are actively rebuilding, restoring & renewing. Yes, we are waiting for the return of the King, but it is not a passive waiting."

- Mike Slaughter