One of the best things about the growing diversity in the Southern Baptist Convention is the inclusion of new heroes. There have been pioneers among Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Hispanic, and Romanian Southern Baptists (and many other groups as well). The groups listed here are particularly significant for me because of personal relationships with the founders or other early significant leaders of these movements. They are among my missionary and ministry heroes.

During Black History Month, we are celebrating an African-American hero who will be new for many of you. George Liele was the first missionary from North America. He was born to enslaved parents and heard the gospel through the witness of his slave master. From childhood, his passion for the gospel and leadership abilities were evident. Pastor Liele planted the first African American church in North America. He later went to Jamaica as the first international missionary from this continent. During his time in Jamaica, hundreds came to faith in Jesus and a Baptist church was founded. Thirty years after his death, there were more than 20,000 believers in Jamaica—all traced back to his early ministry of sharing the gospel.

Diversity in a huge denomination like ours is challenging. We fragment over many issues—theological, political, and programmatic. Those issues are continuing struggles and will be for as long as there are different people with different perspectives trying to work together. What unifies us is our mission to get the gospel to billions who have never heard it. More than that, many of these have never even heard the name of Jesus, much less the gospel. We are at our best when our mission overcomes our differences and compels us to work together.

It is impossible for me to understand fully the unjust circumstances of George Liele’s birth and life. Slavery is a heinous wrong and there is no justification for it. But even more amazing to me, is Liele’s example of rising above his circumstances and expending his life so others could hear the good news about Jesus. He defines what it means to be compelled by the gospel. I am humbled by his life and motivated by his example. George Liele is a missionary hero.If you would like to read more and see videos about George Liele, go to

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Personal Timeline Lessons of Ministry Leaders

Kristen Ferguson
Director of Online Education | Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
Dr. Kristen Ferguson serves as the Director of Online Education and associate professor of educational leadership at Gateway Seminary. Her doctoral research at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary investigated evangelical faculty perceptions on online theological education. Her continued research focuses on online course design, blended learning, and online teaching best practices.

The Plain Meaning

Dr. Iorg discusses the simplicity of Bible interrpetation. We cannot let our disobedient hearts guide our interpretation.

Jeff Iorg
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.


Study Isaiah
October 3, 2022

Uplifted Hand Oracles and Isaiah’s Commission – Isaiah 5b-6 & 9-10a

This week on Study Isaiah, Paul Wegner and host Tyler Sanders continue hopping around the palistrophe in Isaiah 5-12. First, they cover the uplifted hand oracles and then Isaiah’s commission.
Lead On Podcast
October 2, 2022

Overcoming Destructive Habits

Dr. Iorg explains how destructive habits can be formed by looking for significance and security in places other than Christ.


Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

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