Hearing Dr. Brian Kennedy, declaring truth with a Bible in his hand, is an exquisite pleasure. He consistently and seriously communicates biblical truth, with a street-wise demeaner and practical sense that connects with listeners from every background. For me, his pastoral preaching has been life-giving and spiritually sustaining.

Dr. Kennedy is the senior pastor of Mt. Zion Church of Ontario, California. When we moved to Ontario, I was running on fumes – burned to a crisp by the multi-year demands of moving and rebranding the seminary. The stressors were significant – from the protesters in front of our campuses to the interpersonal pain the relocation caused for people we loved. The first few weeks in Ontario we visited a few churches, but were drawn back to Mt. Zion because of the spiritual infusion Dr. Kennedy’s preaching gave me each time we attended.

Some have asked why we joined a predominately African American church, assuming it was primarily motivated by addressing racial or racism issues. That was not the reason. We joined Mt. Zion because of the preaching of God’s Word and because the church was having a transformational impact in its community. Getting to also learn about serving in a church with a different cultural and racial tradition was a bonus added to these other determinative features.

Now, eight years later, we find ourselves in another season of transition – this time without the burnout – but still spiritually stretched. We were tracking toward a quiet retirement with ministry in the shadows and investing major time in our family. But God appears to have another plan. As you have likely heard, we may be taking on a major leadership post for the next few years – not exactly the retirement we intended, but a new assignment God is giving. And, once again, we find Pastor Brian’s preaching life-giving, hope-infused, and faith-sustaining.

In an era when preaching has been reduced to stringing some ideas together around a slideshow or delivering a theological lecture, it is satisfying to hear a skilled communicator stand and deliver truth from God’s Word. Preaching is a timeless strategy, not an outdated method. Preaching, done well, still invigorates people. They will still stop to hear someone with a clear voice, an authoritative message, and masterful delivery.

So, while our days as members of Mt. Zion may be numbered, our appreciation for the preaching ministry of our friend and colleague, Dr. Brian Kennedy, will endure. Thank you for your uncompromising exposition, down-to-earth vocabulary, and disarming humor. And yes, T-Dog, Killer, and Maniac are my favorite sermonic characters. Keep those guys in the rotation as cultural commentators and foils to contrast the truth of God’s Word!

Moving Into the Future

Gateway Seminary has selected Dr. Adam Groza as our eighth president.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

An Outsider

Secular scholars are recognizing the positive culture-shaping effects of historic Christianity by witnessing its absence.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

An Anniversary

On the tenth anniversary of the initial relocation announcement, Dr. Iorg reflects on how shared memories build culture and help cast a vision for the future.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.