General Baptist Ministries
Throughout the year, I visit General Baptist churches of all different kinds, sizes, and geographies. I would love to visit your church! I can come and preach or I can simply visit and encourage, it is completely up to you.
If you would be interested in me visiting, please fill out the following form, and we will get the visit scheduled!
Grace and peace,
Danny Dunivan, Ph.D.
President, General Baptist Ministries
Danny Dunivan, Ph.D.
I am the son of a General Baptist pastor. My family was formative in helping me find Jesus from an early age. I was baptized in a small General Baptist church that my dad pastored (New Hope/Trotter General Baptist Church) when I was 7 years old. The church is no longer in existence, but the faith they taught me has made all the difference in my life.
I answered a call to ministry at 14, and preached my first sermon at my home church (Walnut Grove General Baptist Church–my dad pastored this church for the last 34 years of his life) on July 28, 1991. I am proud to be the heir of the faithfulness of my family and so many in that church.
I went on to work on staff at churches in Missouri and Indiana over the years since. Each one has taught me of the messiness and beauty of local churches. I’ve experienced heartache and pain in ministry (some caused by my own failures and some by the actions of others), and I’ve seen the power of the Gospel first hand in the work.
When I was 19 years old, I felt the need to receive education to be the most effective that I could be in ministry. I began making plans to attend school at Oakland City University. At about the same time, I started dating Tara. She is also the daughter of a General Baptist pastor, and she is definitely my partner in ministry. Anyone who knows us, knows that she is the better Dunivan! We were married in May 1997, and we moved to Oakland City together in July of the same year. I completed a BA in Religious Studies and a Master of Divinity at OCU. Those years gave me tools, discipline, and clarity of calling. It is hard to overstate how transformative my education was for who I am.
After finishing my seminary program at OCU, I went on to full-time doctoral study at Saint Louis University, finally receiving my Ph.D. in historical theology. I returned to OCU in 2005 on faculty teaching primarily theology, church history, and General Baptist life. In 2009, I started working in administration at OCU as the Dean of the Chapman Seminary, and I ultimately held the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost. During these years, we became members of Spurgeon General Baptist Church in Spurgeon, Indiana, and I was able to serve General Baptists through various committees and commissions.
In 2020, I was approached about serving as the Interim Executive Director for General Baptists. After some discernment, I accepted the position. I took a leave of absence from OCU to take on the role with General Baptists, and intended to return to my university position in 2021. However, I sensed that God was calling me to continue leading General Baptists, and in July 2021, the General Association made me the first President of General Baptist Ministries.
Now, Tara and I live in my hometown of Puxico, Missouri (about 25 miles from Poplar Bluff). Actually, we are now living in my paternal grandparents’ former home. We are proud parents of two amazing daughters, Averee and Ella.
My leadership philosophy can be summed up in the phrase “missional clarity.” I believe that much of the work of leading is found in clarifying the current position and providing clarity for how to move forward.
As such, I’ve led General Baptist Ministries to become more clear about why we exist and how we must relate to our churches as a result. General Baptist Ministries (“the denomination”) was created to help local churches to more effectively fulfill their call from God to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus. Without constant vigilance, all organizations become inwardly focused on their own activities, and for a denomination, it leads to an unhealthy expectation that churches exist to help the denomination to maintain itself. However, our calling from God from the start has always been to be for the health of our churches. Therefore, everything we do should be oriented to being “for the church.” This is a rallying cry for our ministries! It provides clarity as we make decisions, and it ties us to our mission.