Randall L. Von Kanel, Th.D., Pastor, President NCBTS
Dr. Randy Von Kanel is the pastor of the Cayman Islands Baptist Church in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. He is a native of Pascagoula, MS, and is a graduate of William Carey University (B.M., 1975; M.M., 1978) and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. 1982; Th.D., 1989).
Dr. Von Kanel first came to the Cayman Islands in 1978 as a music and youth journeyman with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. In his two-year assignment, he helped with new Baptist work in Grand Cayman, serving with IMB Missionaries Herbert and Jackie Neely in the beginning years of the First Baptist Church. He returned from the mission field in 1980 to resume his seminary work at New Orleans. He served as pastor of several Mississippi churches over the next eleven years.
While serving as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, MS (1988-1991), Dr. Von Kanel was called by First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman, to return as their first church-supported pastor following the retirement of the Neelys. The Von Kanels moved to Grand Cayman in 1992. In the years that followed, the island church family experienced strong growth and relocated to a new campus. In 1998, Dr. Von Kanel returned to Mississippi and continued in ministry in his home state. After a transitional year as Associate Pastor to Dr. Frank Pollard at the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Von Kanel moved his family to Tupelo where he served as the Executive Director of Global Outreach International, a mission organization ministering in more than 25 countries. He would later serve as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Tupelo, Mississippi (2002-2005; 2007-2009). In 2009, Pastor Randy, as he is known in the islands, once again felt the call of God to return to his beloved Cayman and became the pastor of the Cayman Islands Baptist Church, a growing new work (2005) in the Savannah community of Grand Cayman. In 2012, Pastor Randy led in the establishment of the YMCA of the Cayman Islands, serving as the Founding Board Chairman and continues today as a member of the Board of Directors for the YMCA. In 2018, Von Kanel led in the founding of the Northwestern Caribbean Baptist Theological Seminary, a theological training institution he now serves in a volunteer capacity as President.
Pastor Randy is married to the former Cindy Farris of Moss Point, MS. Mrs. Von Kanel presently teaches 3rd Grade at Triple C School. The Von Kanels have two children: Landon, their son–the Cayman Islands’ first Gold Medal winner in swimming at the CARIFTA Games in 1996–was killed in a tragic car accident in 2001; and, Randa, their daughter, an attorney, is a graduate of LSU (Louisiana State University) and the Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, TN.