Ian Turner was called by God to Grace Baptist Church as a pastor in May, 2023, after serving here as a pastoral intern for nearly two years.
Ian is from the Chicago area, born in Evanston, Illinois, and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. Ian grew up in a churchgoing but broken family where profession of faith was not accompanied by godly living. But by God’s mercy, Ian received a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ at the age of seventeen, when the newness of life Jesus brings with His indwelling became a reality. Having been freed from a life of sin and selfishness, God led Ian to begin serving Jesus.
Shortly after receiving Christ by faith in the summer of 2002, Ian got involved in campus ministry for almost ten years, leading bible studies and Sunday worship music. During this time, he also completed a BA in English (Elmhurst College, 2008) and a MA in Linguistics (Northeastern Illinois University, 2011). In 2008, he married his fiancée, Mercy, whom he met in the Philippines. In these years his employment ranged from teaching English as a Second Language, to being an adjunct professor of English, to working as an administrator in a private day school. When in 2011 Ian came to a better understanding of God’s work in salvation, summarized by the doctrines of grace, he left campus ministry, joined a confessional Baptist church, and began MDiv studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL). In 2012, he was licensed to preach at New Life Fellowship church (Waukegan, IL), serving under the ministry mentorship of Pastor Louis Love.
In 2016 Ian and Mercy moved their growing family to western Michigan to be closer to family and further education opportunities. He and Mercy received God’s gifts of two children: a son (born 2013) and a daughter (2016). In west Michigan, Ian’s occasional preaching ministry continued at Harbor Church in Holland, while he worked as an administrator and teacher at a Christian school and finished his MDiv, having transferred from Trinity Evangelical Divinity school to Reformed Baptist Seminary. In 2018, he began coursework for a PhD in Biblical Studies with a focus in Old Testament at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, MI). In 2020, he began working as an editorial teaching assistant to Dr. Joel Beeke, doing research, editing, and writing for numerous projects with Reformation Heritage Books and other publishers.
In 2021, Ian and his family moved to Carlisle, PA, to become members at Grace Baptist Church (GBC) in conjunction with a pastoral internship. Under the mentorship of the elders at GBC and pastors John Miller and Simon O’Mahony, the internship aimed to reinforce the ministry training and mentoring that Ian had received in the past. During this time, Ian was also working on his dissertation for the PhD program at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, which was completed in May, 2023. During the internship, the internal call to the ministry Ian had sensed since 2011 became a deeper conviction and concrete reality. In May, 2023, the members of GBC voted to call Ian as a pastor, and he was ordained to the gospel ministry.