Jeff Iorg to be nominated to lead SBC Executive Committee

A special-called meeting will take place March 21 for SBC Executive Committee members to consider the nomination of Jeff Iorg as the next EC president and CEO.

The vote will take place in executive session at the Grand Hyatt in the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Iorg has been president of Gateway Baptist Theological Seminary since 2004, when it was known as Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2016 he oversaw the completion of the seminary’s move from Mill Valley to Ontario, Calif., and the launching of an online campus while continuing to grow the endowment from $16 million to $60 million without incurring debt.

“Jeff Iorg is who we have been praying for,” said search team chairman Neal Hughes, director of missions and executive director of the Montgomery (Ala.) Baptist Association and MBA Community Ministries.

Hughes noted that Iorg’s “calm demeanor, communication skills, executive administrative ability and thorough knowledge of Southern Baptist life will be a godsend to the SBC.”

EC chairman and search team member Phillip Robertson said he was “beyond excited” at the news and called Iorg “a leader that all Southern Baptists can unite around.”

Other Southern Baptist leaders noted Iorg’s longevity in denominational service and the relational capital it brings.

“Jeff Iorg is one of the most respected leaders throughout the Southern Baptist Convention,” said R. Albert Mohler. Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “He combines character with great ability and incredible commitment to the SBC and its churches. He is exactly what we need as president of the Executive Committee at this historic moment.”

“I have known Jeff Iorg for more than 25 years. During that time, I have observed, with keen interest, how he has grown into a stellar leader among Southern Baptists,” said Rick Lance, executive director, Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. “He has earned the respect of our Baptist family from across the landscape of SBC life. Personally, I believe Jeff is in the top tier of statesmanlike leadership in the SBC.”

Iorg’s tenure as head of a Southern Baptist entity on the West Coast brings its own considerations in terms of leadership.

“Jeff Iorg is loved beyond measure in the West,” said Tony Dockery, lead pastor of St. Stephen Baptist Church in San Dimas, Calif., and EC vice chair.

Daniel Atkins, pastor of Taylor Road Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., and a Gateway trustee, called Iorg “the leader the SBC needs for today and the future.”

Former Northwest Baptist Convention associate executive director Stan Albright referred to the “high expectations” Iorg has for staff while exhibiting “great faith in their performance.”

“He is confident, yet humble; focused, yet aware of his challenges; and a vision-caster, yet a team player,” Albright said.

Before becoming the president at Gateway, Iorg, as executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention, led churches to increase Cooperative Program giving by 30 percent.

Iorg was a children’s minister before becoming pastor at Green Valley Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo. The church saw growth in attendance and staff as well as financial viability during his tenure.

Iorg moved on to plant Pathway Church in Gresham, Ore. After leading as pastor for several years and raising up his replacement, he continued to serve for 10 years as a lay leader.

Last October, Iorg asked Gateway trustees to begin the process of initiating a transition plan to find the seminary’s next president.

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. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with a project 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.

If elected, Iorg will replace previous EC president and CEO Ronnie Floyd, who resigned in October 2021.

— Scott Barkley is national correspondent for Baptist Press.