The Rev. Ronald Byrd, Sr. serves as The Episcopal Church Missioner for Black Ministries and is a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff. In previous ministries, Fr. Byrd has worked with a variety of Black congregations where he has focused on practical leadership development and congregational vitality.
A strong proponent of entrepreneurial ministry, practical and collaborative leadership development, and congregational vitality, Fr. Byrd brings new and exciting energy into the Church’s continuing efforts to revitalize congregations in decline and to inspire in them relevant ministries that help to strengthen both the community and the congregation.
Fr. Byrd’s experience is varied and impressive. A successful businessman, he worked for 20 years in executive management, including in leadership positions at four Fortune 500 companies. “All of my professional experiences as a layperson helped to prepare me for ordained life in this Church.” This includes his success in entrepreneurial ministry, based in part by his success as founder and owner of Baby Byrd’s Q – a much-celebrated barbecue restaurant enterprise launched in Burlington, Vermont. His service in The Episcopal Church is just as extensive, having served as deputy to General Convention; Design Team member for International Black Clergy Conferences; and lead consultant for the Episcopal Church Foundation’s newest leadership development program, Vital Teams, just to name a few. In 2011, his diverse skill sets aligned as Fr. Byrd and the congregation of St. Katherine’s Episcopal Church in Williamston, Michigan created, constructed, and launched Forster Woods Adult Day Center, a daycare facility that ministers to persons living with dementia and other physical and mental impairments.
Fr. Byrd enjoys serving in The Episcopal Church Department of Ethnic Ministries. “Representing the Church to the Black community and the Black diaspora to The Episcopal Church is one of the greatest honors ever bestowed upon me,” he said. In addition to his department’s efforts to ensure Black congregational vitality, Fr. Byrd seeks to inspire and equip Black Episcopalians “in every context of their lives to be agents of reconciliation and to foster unity, collaboration, and communication among individuals, ministries, and organizations concerned about Black people and The Episcopal Church.”