Jeff Iorg to be nominated for SBC Executive Committee presidency   

Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in September 2022.
Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in September 2022. | Screengrab: YouTube/Southwestern Seminary

Jeff Iorg has been nominated to become the new Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee president and could be approved for the position later this month.

Baptist Press, the official news service of the SBC, announced Friday that Iorg is the SBC EC presidential nominee, with his nomination to be voted on at a special meeting on March 21.

Iorg has served as president of Gateway Baptist Theological Seminary, taking office in 2004 when the academic institution was known as Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

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Iorg garnered respect across denominational lines with how he led the seminary's relocation from the San Francisco area to central California in 2016. 

Iorg graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a bachelor of arts in Bible and a minor in Psychology, then earned a master of divinity at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, was among those who have expressed support for the Iorg's nomination.

"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," stated Lance, as quoted by BP.

"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."

Albert Mohler. Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called Iorg "one of the most respected leaders throughout the Southern Baptist Convention."

"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," Mohler added.

The Executive Committee is comprised of 86 representatives and works on behalf of the SBC between annual sessions, overseeing things like reviewing financial statements, distributing funds for SBC ministries, and serving as the trust agency for convention properties.

The executive committee has been without a leader since October 2021, when SBC EC President Ronnie Floyd resigned over the committee's decision to waive attorney-client privilege as part of an investigation into how SBC leadership has reportedly mishandled abuse allegations.

After Floyd resigned, the EC appointed Willie McLaurin, an EC vice president, as interim president while the convention body continued to search for a new leader.

Last May, committee members voted 31-50 against appointing Texas Pastor Jared Wellman, an executive committee member who had been the top candidate, after a 14-month recruitment process. 

Wellman faced objections over some of his work on the search committee, while others wanted a person of color for the leadership position instead.

In August 2023, McLaurin resigned and stepped away from consideration when it was revealed that he had misrepresented his academic credentials.

Jonathan Howe, an executive committee employee since 2019 who had served as vice president for communications, was appointed to fill the interim president post after McLaurin departed.

In late January, Neal Hughes, chairman of the presidential search team for SBC EC, announced that an unnamed candidate for the position of president had withdrawn from consideration.

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