Jeff Iorg elected to lead SBC Executive Committee

Jeff Iorg will become the eighth leader of the SBC Executive Committee. Iorg received a unanimous vote from 60 EC members at a special-called EC meeting on March 21.

Iorg, 65, will serve as president-elect until his tenure as president of Gateway Seminary officially concludes with graduation on May 11. His first official day as EC president/CEO will be May 13.

“Today’s unanimous vote marks a significant turning point for the SBC Executive Committee and the SBC as a whole,” said EC Chairman Philip Robertson. “You cannot overstate the importance of leadership, and Jeff Iorg is a leader among leaders. The way Southern Baptists have united around this nomination is something we haven’t seen in a long time. I am extremely grateful to God for that. It’s a new day at the EC.”

Iorg has led Gateway Seminary since 2004. The seminary announced a leadership succession plan in October that would culminate in Iorg’s retirement.

During his tenure at Gateway, he led the school to relocate its primary campus to Southern California and to change the school’s name from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary to Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Gateway serves 2,000 students, including a current enrollment of 1,000 students studying in 15 languages through its Advance Program. The school also has formal partnerships with seminaries in Mexico, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.

The seminary’s endowments grew from $16 million to $60 million under Iorg’s leadership.

Search Team Chairman Neal Hughes told Baptist Press he believes the SBC “is going to see a strong leader, a kind leader, an effective leader, an administrative leader and a spirit-filled leader.”

“We’ve come now to this moment where we say like Psalms, the Lord has done this and this is marvelous,” Hughes said.

Prior to coming to Gateway, Iorg led the Northwest Baptist Convention for nearly a decade. He helped the convention grow its Cooperative Program income from $4 million to $5 million.

He also oversaw the completion of the Northwest Baptist Center and led the staff to relocate to Vancouver, Wash.

“Jeff Iorg has already brought unity to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention and to the Southern Baptist Convention, as evidenced by the acclaim from far and wide in response to the initial announcement and by today’s unanimous vote,” said SBC President Bart Barber. “Jeff Iorg has said today that the SBC is a force for good. I believe that God will use Jeff Iorg as a force for good, and I will cheer him on and pray toward that end.”

Iorg first trusted in Christ in 1972. He was led to faith by an associate pastor at Elmcrest Baptist Church in Abilene, Texas, who was serving in an evangelism booth at the West Texas Regional Fair. He was called to ministry during his senior year of high school in 1977.

He went on to serve as a children’s minister at Elmcrest Baptist Church before becoming pastor at Green Valley Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo., and Pathway Church in Gresham, Ore.

A magna cum laude graduate from Hardin-Simmons University with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and a minor in psychology, Iorg continued his education at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity degree. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with a dissertation focused on developing effective listening skills for evangelism.

He and his wife Ann married in 1980 and have three children and five grandchildren. He is the author of eight books on biblical leadership, character development, evangelism, marriage and leading through change.

Iorg hosts a podcast called Lead On! which is available on all major podcast platforms.

He follows Ronnie Floyd who stepped down from the EC presidency in October 2021.

Brandon Porter serves as Associate Vice President for Convention News at the SBC Executive Committee.