Jared Byrns serves as the pastor of Central Baptist Church, a conservative Southern Baptist congregation in downtown Lawton, Oklahoma.
He has spent his entire adult life in ministry, preaching (20 years) and pastoring (14 years) in churches in Oklahoma and Arkansas. He has served at Central since August 2020.
He trusted Jesus as his Savior at 5 and surrendered to the ministry at 15. His childhood faith was challenged and strengthened in college due to the skeptical questions he endured. In response, he studied arguments and evidence on all sides and came away more convinced than ever of the life-changing truth of the Gospel. In particular, the resurrection of Jesus has remained his favorite topic to study, teach, and discuss ever since. Because of these experiences, two of Jared’s greatest passions in ministry are apologetics and disciple-making: equipping others to defend their Christian faith and training them to follow Jesus faithfully.
He earned his BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma, and at Louisiana Baptist University, he earned his MA in Apologetics and his PhD in Bible and Theology. He has written five books and is working on a sixth, outlining four historical facts that he has identified as key to the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection and addressing common objections to this foundational Christian belief.
Jared is active in several ministries and causes. He formerly served more than a decade on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Conservative Assembly, including six years as president (2014-2020), and he was the Pastors’ Conference President for the Comanche-Cotton Baptist Association (2022-2023). He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Pregnancy Resource Center of Southwest Oklahoma and Trinity Christian Academy.
Jared is married to his lifelong friend, Charla. God has blessed them with five children: Benjamin (12), Madeleine (10), Charlie (5), Carly Jo (4), and Abigail (1). They live just outside of Lawton, on a small homestead in the Wichita Mountains where they raise chickens and ducks.
He enjoys outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, and hiking in his free time. He loves history and often drags his kids on road trips to obscure spots where something happened long ago. Jared is also a seventh-generation Oklahoman, an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and a tribally recognized artisan specializing in woodworking.