The Beacon catches up with Ken Lyle ’60 and Scott Lyle ’88, father and son members of the Mississippi College Hall of Fame.
Ken Lyle discovered Mississippi College in Anchorage, Alaska. A native of Texas, Lyle served in the military and was stationed in Anchorage in the mid-1950s. In the land of the Midnight Sun, he met several Mississippi College students who had come to Alaska to work for the summer. “My dream had been to attend Texas University and study drama, but there in Anchorage, God began talking to me about the ministry,” Lyle recalls. “When I left the service, I moved to Mississippi and enrolled at MC.”
Lyle’s many honors at MC included being one of the original four inductees into the Hall of Fame. Following his graduation from MC and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Lyle entered the ministry, serving with churches in Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and New York. He also served as the Metro New York Baptist Association’s director of missions and as the executive director-treasurer of the Baptist Convention of Maryland-Delaware before retiring as the executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England in 2000. Though he was never called overseas, Dr. Lyle’s ministry was always geared toward missions.
“When we moved to New York City, there were fewer than 10 Southern Baptist churches in the area,” Dr. Lyle recalls. “We focused our outreach on a diverse population of people, many of whom did not speak English. I’ve always had a passion for sharing God’s message with people of different languages and cultures.”
Today Dr. Lyle and his wife, Judy, live in Abilene, Texas, where both are active in First Baptist Church Abilene. Dr. Lyle is involved in the City Light Ministry, an outreach to the poor and homeless; is serving his final year as chair of the church’s missions committee; and offers his considerable expertise on missions to another area church working to build a cross-cultural ministry.
“Looking back over my entire career, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” Dr. Lyle says. “My family and I had the privilege of going places and serving, and we had as much or more exposure to the people of the world as anyone, anywhere because of where God put us. I’ve learned that no matter where you are, making a difference all comes down to living out the Christian faith and building relationships.”
All of the Lyles’ four children followed in their parents’ footsteps and attended Mississippi College, but son Scott took things one step further when he followed his father into the MC Hall of Fame.
Gifted in helping others find their potential, Scott quickly found success in the business world. He was working as the manager of people and leadership development with Southwest Airlines when he felt the call to full-time ministry, and once again, followed in his father’s footsteps. Today, Scott Lyle is pastor of leadership and missions at First Baptist Church Forney, Texas.
“In the earlier years of my career, I saw my calling as that of a corporate missionary. Teaching in a corporate environment gave me so many opportunities to influence people,” Scott Lyle says. “Over time, God began to show me the importance of those relationships. I believe the call into ministry was a natural progression and all those experiences were preparing me to do the same work in a church environment.
“It’s ironic since we’re talking about the Hall of Fame, but I’ve realized life is not so much about the certificates and plaques and pictures on the wall,” Scott Lyle continues. “Those things are great achievements, but what really matters is relationships.”
Like father, like son.