After serving in Open Bible for 51 years, Randall A. Bach is concluding his role as President of Open Bible Churches, effective August 30, 2023. He said, “Serving as your president is a privilege and blessing, undoubtedly the highest honor of my life. While serving in this office, I have been keenly aware that I am a steward of something I do not own. My hope is that I have made a positive difference for the Lord and Open Bible’s mission during my tenure of stewardship. Colossians 3:23 is deeply rooted in my heart as a life commitment: ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.’ That is a central component of my worship to the Lord.”
“Randall has been a leader of influence and innovation in our Open Bible family for many decades,” said Open Bible Vice President Bruce Pfadenhauer. “He is a man of integrity, excellence, and has a strong work ethic that has been proven in a long list of assignments and accomplishments. Randall has been a statesman for Open Bible Churches, and it has been my privilege to serve under his leadership and as a partner on his leadership team.”
Randall’s main assignments were serving at Open Bible College, Open Bible Churches’ national office, Open Bible’s East Region, and as president of Open Bible Churches. Here we list some of his accomplishments.
Open Bible College (1972-1983)
Randall began his tenure at Open Bible College in Des Moines, Iowa, as a faculty member and director of public relations at the age of 22. At age 23, he became registrar and implementor of the federal student aid program. He became the school’s executive vice president at age 24 during the college’s successful quest for accreditation. At age 29, he became the school’s president.
During those years at the college, Randall led choir and student ministry teams on tours through the Central, Mountain Plains, and Southeast regions. He relocated and expanded the college library. He led staff members who oversaw academics, student records, recruitment, student financial aid, dormitories, cafeteria, married student housing, facilities, and an on-campus childcare business. He worked to preserve and restore the historic Butler Building, which housed administrative offices and classrooms. He helped in the development of a cooperative Associate of Arts degree with the neighboring American Institute of Business and served several terms as chair of the Open Bible Committee on Higher Education, coordinating relationships between Open Bible’s colleges. Randall served as a member of Central Region’s board of directors and as district youth director. His wife, Barbara, served at Randall’s side as bookkeeper, vocalist on a ministry team, and leader of the student wives’ fellowship.
Open Bible Churches (1983-1998)
Next, Randall moved to the national office, where he wore many hats, including serving as the national Christian Education and Youth Director, Executive Director of Church Ministries, Executive Director of Communications, and Director of World Evangelism. In these offices he traveled extensively to speak to churches on behalf of Open Bible. He represented World Evangelism in most Open Bible districts, participated in transitioning the national board to a smaller size and redefining its composition, and led the transition to computerizing national office operations, including online giving and the website. He was the designer for renovations to national office spaces, published the first We Believe doctrinal publication for adults, published CrossTraining for Kids, a doctrinal resource, and sponsored children’s ministry leaders training workshops. He transformed the Message of the Open Bible to an award-winning, four-color publication. He championed Youth For Missions giving, which grew from $7,000 annually to $86,000. He led and organized Gospel Teams Overseas, a program that conducted short-term missions trips for young people, and led an adult ministry team consisting of regional and district youth leaders on a ministry trip to Jamaica. He implemented Frontline, Open Bible’s first national youth convention, led a leadership summit of regional and district youth leaders to visit Tijuana in pursuit of the development of a short-term ministry base, and led a Youth For Missions project that raised funds to purchase land in Tijuana for the base.
East Region Open Bible Churches (1998-2011)
Randall’s next position was serving as the East Region Executive Director and Vice President of Open Bible Churches. In this role, he renovated the regional office, led the development of the Open Bible Manual with separate sections that contain national bylaws and policies and principles, as well as church bylaw models. In consultation with the national board of directors, he led the 2007 national restructuring team, that changed the size and composition of the national board. He led the development of a district leaders manual and implemented a four-color regional newsletter called PULSE. He traveled extensively throughout the region assisting with pastoral transitions and conflict resolution, implemented complimentary Galatians 6:6 retreats for all senior pastors and spouses, led restructuring of the regional board of directors, published the Pastor/Board Relationship resource, implemented Vanguard teaching summits for ministers and church leaders, and planned and led regional conferences and retreats. Barbara served in various capacities in the regional office, traveled extensively with Randall, and led the regional women’s ministry. Barbara also exercised her gift for hospitality, hosting dinners and providing baked goods for board meetings.
Open Bible Churches (2012-2023)
As President of Open Bible Churches, Randall led and implemented the transformation of World Evangelism, an almost 50-year-old giving program, into Mission Venture Plan, a designated giving program that supports Open Bible ministries and missionaries with unified giving options. He implemented a strategic foresight process and led the implementation of a restructured, more inclusive board of directors and an executive leadership team. As a result of the strategic foresight process, he launched what became Movement, a ministry to identify, reach, and develop young adult leaders. He implemented a digital media office to create an online processing of functions and visibility. He led the Message of the Open Bible’s transition to become a free, online publication with a multiplied readership. He implemented an annual retreat with regional executive directors and spouses to resource and deepen relationships and mutual support, created the CURRENT e-letter for credentialed ministers and spouses, and upgraded the consultation process for the appointment of regional executive directors.
He represented Open Bible and served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the National Association of Evangelicals and represented Open Bible Churches as a member of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America. He led an extensive remodeling of the national office. He implemented Acquire, an online video training resource for ministerial credential applicants, pastoral enrichment, and lay leader training. He also championed the establishment of Open Bible schools of ministry and implemented a certification process for them. He led a conversion of the credentialing process to be administrated entirely online.
Randall published We Believe: Core Truths for Christian Living and We Believe for Kids, a three-year, contemporary doctrinal curriculum for churches. He launched Prayer Points, a short, monthly video with praise and prayer highlights, implemented Better Roads, a bimonthly podcast in which the spiritual journeys of guests (mostly Open Bible) are explored, and created a staff communications team that brainstorms and coordinates the many pieces of communication that are distributed from the national office. The final piece of Randall’s publishing vision to resource Open Bible churches as they make disciples was Thriving in the Spirit, written by Burt Campbell and premiering at the 2023 Open Bible convention. He streamlined national conventions and targeted locations that are desirable family destinations, appointed a Presidential Unity Commission, dedicated to building bridges between races, and developed a new historical memories and archives room at the national office.
Randall and Barbara traveled thousands of miles to engage with pastors, spouses, and churches and to represent Open Bible in the greater evangelical community of the nation. Barbara again applied her God-given gift of hospitality to host dinners for boards, office staff, and other groups in the Bach home and contributed her delicious baked goods from “BaBaJo’s Baked from Scratch Kitchen” for board meetings and for the office staff.
“As challenging as it is to let go of something I love,” he said. “I know it is time to pass the baton to fresh leadership and vision, to walk out the door with thankfulness for the opportunity to have served, to leave at my initiative, and to depart with joy in my heart from knowing I have given every ounce of my fiber to be faithful to His call on my life. There would always be more I want to do, but that will be for someone else.”