Jared Byrns serves as the pastor of Central Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Lawton, Oklahoma.
He has spent his entire adult life in ministry, proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus and defending the truth of God’s Word. He has been preaching for 18 years, with 12 of those as a pastor. Before coming to Central in August 2020, he served other churches in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
He trusted Jesus as his Savior at the age of 5 and surrendered to the ministry at the age of 15. But some of his greatest spiritual growth occurred during his time in college when he found his beliefs regularly challenged by professors who were skeptical at best and hostile at worst. Rather than walk away from the faith of his childhood, he studied arguments and evidence on both sides and came away more convinced than ever of the life-changing truth of the Gospel.
In particular, the evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus captured his attention, and it remains one of his favorite topics to study, teach, and discuss to this day. Because of these experiences, two of Jared’s great passions in life and ministry are apologetics and disciple-making: equipping others to make a reasoned defense for their Christian faith and training them to follow Jesus faithfully.
He earned his B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and his M.A. in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University. He is currently working on a Doctorate of Biblical Studies, with his dissertation focusing on evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. To date, he has written four books, including his latest, Christs in Contrast, which explores how Biblical Christianity and several other religions answer Jesus’ question: Who do you say that I am?
He has been active in promoting causes like the sanctity of life and education reform, and he has served more than a decade on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Conservative Assembly — including six years as president.
Jared is married to his lifelong friend, Charla. God has blessed them with five children: Benjamin (10), Madeleine (9), Charlie (4), Carly Jo (2), and Abigail (2 months and 1 week). They live in the Wichita Mountains, just outside of Lawton, on an acreage they’re working hard to develop as a chicken farm.
In his free time, Jared enjoys outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, geocaching, and even yard work. He loves history and can often be found dragging his kids on road trips to obscure spots where something happened a long time ago. Jared and his kids are enrolled citizens of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Jared also dabbles in woodworking and is a recognized Choctaw artisan.