Rankin grew up near New Orleans. He worked in corporate banking for five years before deciding to become a pastor. After his training at Princeton Theological Seminary, Rankin was Minister of Teaching and Missions at First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga. He likes the fact that Los Angeles is a town that turns around the idea of story and the need for a redemptive ending. Rankin enjoys most any sport, poetry (especially Robert Frost), and music (especially Bruce Springsteen). He is married to Morgen and they have three children: Jack, Emi Bea, and Will.