John Ballenger, Pastor


Rev. Dr. John Ballenger, Pastor

“The one who tells the story, shapes the culture.”

Dr. David Walsh
President of the National Institute of Media and the Family

We at Woodbrook tell a story that we believe needs to be a part of shaping our culture. It’s a story of grace and wonder, love and joy—a story of creative, transformative initiative. It’s the story of God and creation—the story of God and people. It’s a story of love made real in relationship and in living. We tell it in worship and in Bible study. We sing it and pray it and teach it to our children. And we would love to share it with you.

Rev. Dr. John Ballenger
With a life lived in the Baptist context, as a P.K. (preacher’s kid) and an M.K. (missionarys’ kid), John nonetheless celebrates 22 years in ministry in Baptist churches (Woodbrook Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD; Candler Park Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA; Seventh & James Baptist Church, Waco, TX), celebrating what Baptist can still mean!

John earned his doctorate in preaching from Brite Divinity School (D.Min., Homiletics, 2003), his Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1988) back when he was proud to be there, and his Bachelors from the University of Virginia (B.A., English and German Language and Literature, 1984).

John is married to the Rev. Susie Ballenger who teaches Bible and Religion and is the Associate Chaplain at St. Paul’s School for Girls. They have two girls.

He enjoys reading Barbara Brown Taylor, Tom Long, Anna Carter Florence, Fred Craddock, Anne Lamotte, Frederick Buechner, Kathleen Norris, Walter Brueggemann, Annie Dillard, and Ted Loder.

He is an avid snow skier, has taken up golf, enjoys hitting the road on his bike, dabbles in woodwork, photography and takes in live music when he can.

His sermons have been published in The Abingdon Preaching Annual (forthcoming), The Ministers Annual Manual, Seeds Magazine, and therefore, the newsletter of the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He has contributed worship resources to Lectionary Homiletics, Seeds of Hope, the Baptist Peacemaker, and Welton Gaddy and Don Nixon’s Worship Resources for Christian Congregations. He has written numerous Sunday School lessons for Smyth & Helwys on topics such as “Christian Character,” “the Birth of Jesus,” “Missions without Boundaries,” “Accounts of Worship in Scripture,” “Commitment,” “Worship,” and “First Thessalonians.”

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