By Matt Damico
Owen Strachan announced his resignation as president of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood at a meeting of the organization’s board of directors in early June.
Strachan has served as CBMW president for more than two years, and as executive director for two years prior to that. He began to consider and pray about his future with the organization last fall, and decided earlier this spring to step away after CBMW’s T4G Pre-Conference. He will continue to serve CBMW as a senior fellow.
“I love CBMW, and it has been an immense privilege serving this institution for nearly four years,” Strachan said. “I never imagined that I would be able to serve on staff and work alongside heroes of the faith like Wayne Grudem, Ligon Duncan, and Danny Akin. They and the rest of our board members – Chairman Erik Thoennes, Jason Duesing, Jeff Purswell, Miguel Núñez, and Thomas White – give time and energy to this organization, and I thank them.”
CBMW flourished under Strachan’s leadership, with significant increase in financial support, a stronger online presence, and the start of a bi-annual National Conference.
“Owen has served as an excellent president for CBMW, and the organization has grown remarkably in influence through his leadership,” said Grudem, board member and co-founder of CBMW.
“I’m sorry to see him leave the presidency of CBMW, but I am glad to know that he will continue associating with CBMW as a senior fellow, and I fully expect that we will continue to see additional valuable contributions from his writing and speaking on issues of biblical manhood and womanhood,” Grudem said.
Thoennes said of Strachan: “Owen Strachan has served CBMW with outstanding diligence, vision, and wise insight. Under his leadership, CBMW has thrived and reached new levels of effectiveness. He has been a clear and biblically grounded voice for God’s glorious design for men and women.”
From 2012 through 2015, CBMW giving increased by 250% – from around $85,000 in 2012 to just shy of $300,000 in 2015. In 2014, Strachan oversaw the organization’s first National Conference, the second of which took place in April 2016. CBMW has also expanded its international reach, holding events in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Canada, and England.
In the spring of 2015, CBMW re-introduced a print edition of its Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which had been available only on the Web for five years prior. Strachan also helped produce two books to support the cause of complementarianism. The first, Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice, came out in 2015 and was edited by Strachan and Jonathan Parnell. The second, The Grand Design: Male and Female He Made Them, written by Strachan and Gavin Peacock, came out in 2016. CBMW also self-published a series of titles, for which Strachan served as general editor. In addition to these print resources, the popularity of CBMW’s website surged, reaching 34th on a ranking of Christian blogs in 2015.
The broadened influence also brought a larger staff under Strachan’s leadership.
“I’m grateful for the men and women whom God brought to us these last few years,” Strachan said. “Grant Castleberry has done exemplary work, and it has been a delight to partner with him in all facets of the ministry. Gavin Peacock is courageous and incisive, and I’m thankful he has a global platform by which to herald the doctrines of God. Jason Duesing leads our journal with his characteristic skill and wisdom. I am thankful to Brittany Lind for years of excellent work, and to Colin Smothers, Scott Corbin, Matt Damico, Courtney Reissig, Greg Gibson, Mathew Sims, and others for their faithful and proficient labors.”
“God used Owen tremendously both for the kingdom of God and CBMW the past few years,” said Castleberry, executive director of CBMW. “His bold witness for truth, zeal for defending biblical marriage, and passion for the Word of God proved invaluable. I am also personally very grateful for his life and ministry. I am glad that he will be able to focus his energies on his leadership roles at Midwestern Seminary.”
In addition to his role as senior fellow for CBMW, Strachan serves as associate professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s also the director of the Center for Theological and Cultural Engagement at Midwestern Seminary. He and his wife, Bethany, are members of Antioch Bible Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
“May God grant CBMW its best days in coming years,” Strachan said. “In promoting the wisdom of Scripture regarding complementarity, we are not in the end championing a chastened doctrine, but proclaiming the beauty of God’s design.”
CBMW will name its next president in a forthcoming announcement in the next few weeks.
UPDATE: Owen Strachan has drafted a statement elaborating further on why he is leaving CBMW.
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