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Jeff Iorg nominated as Golden Gate president

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)—-Jeff Iorg, executive director-treasurer of the Northwest Baptist Convention, has been recommended as the seventh president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

The decision was announced following a March 25 meeting in Northern California of the seminary’s presidential search committee and an advisory board appointed by the trustee chairman Gary Black.

Black, who also served as chairman of the presidential search committee, said, “After an extremely thorough and exhaustive search process, and with the invaluable input of the advisory board, our recommendation is unanimous. Although all of the final candidates would have served us well, Dr. Iorg’s administrative background, classroom skill and extensive ministry experience in the West make him uniquely qualified to lead Golden Gate into a very promising future.”

The search committee interviewed final prospects who had been chosen through a process facilitated by a professional search firm.

Iorg has served as the Northwest convention’s executive director-treasurer since 1995. He was the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Ore., and has served in pastorates in Missouri and Texas.

Since 1990, he has taught as an adjunct preaching, evangelism and leadership instructor at the Golden Gate’s Pacific Northwest Campus.

“I have been a part of many selection processes, but none that were bathed with more prayer, dignity and integrity as this one,” Black, of Novato, Calif., said. “I am proud to stand with the ladies and gentlemen involved in this process who are committed to seeking God’s will in this matter and His will alone. I am grateful for their wisdom, sacrifice and diligence in honoring our Lord and institution in this way.”

Bill Crews, Golden Gate’s chancellor and immediate past president, said after the committee’s decision, “I have known Dr. Iorg for more than 15 years and have found him to be an extremely capable pastor and denominational leader. I am impressed by his Christian commitment, his creativity and effectiveness in leadership, and his devotion to the vision of Golden Gate in shaping effective leaders for the churches of tomorrow. He is a loyal Southern Baptist whose commitment to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message Statement is beyond question. I am thrilled with his candidacy.”

In addition to Black, members of the search committee were Joe Panter, Paradise Valley, Ariz.; Janie Finlay, Houston, Texas; John Funk, Westlake Village, Calif.; Ed Adams, Hesperia, Calif.; David Gill, Antioch, Calif.; Calvin Kelly, Birmingham, Ala.; Bob Fargarson, Brownsville, Tenn.; E.W. McCall, La Puente, Calif.; and Bob Swift, Mayfield, Ky.

Members of the advisory board were Katie Brazelton, Lake Forest, Calif.; Gary Arbino, Petaluma, Calif.; Dwight Honeycutt, Petaluma, Calif.; Kon Yang, Vancouver, Wash.; Steve Bass, Phoenix, Ariz.; Mark Edlund, Denver, Colo.; Fermin Whittaker, Fresno, Calif.; K. Milton Higgins, Fresno, Calif.; Ronald Ellis, Riverside, Calif.; Gary Groat, Petaluma, Calif.; Tom Jones, Karen Robinson, Andrea Hyatt and Mikko Sivonen, all of Mill Valley, Calif.; J.T. Reed, Fair Oaks, Calif.; Michael Dixon, Lafayette, Calif.; and Rob Zinn, Highland, Calif.

Advisory board member Mark Edlund, executive director of the Colorado Baptist General Convention, praised the process. “I strongly affirm the intentional process that the trustees have taken in engaging a large constituency in a highly involved advisory board. This structure provided broad input into an agenda-less process of leadership selection that resulted in this strategic nomination. Should the trustees confirm this nomination, I look forward to working intimately with Dr. Iorg as we seek to penetrate all pockets of lostness in the unchurched West.”

Iorg is a graduate of Hardin Simmons University (B.A.), Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He has written numerous articles and curriculum materials. He and his wife, Ann, have three children, Casey, Melody and Caleb.

The seminary’s board of trustees will meet April 26-27 at the Northern California campus to vote on the search committee’s recommendation. Black stated that plans are being made to arrange for small group opportunities for dialogue with Iorg and his wife and board members.

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention and operates five campuses: in Northern California, Southern California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.

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  • Tom Jones