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 imb.org.


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To Live Biblically – My Family

My oldest son, Micah, has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, a neurological disorder he was diagnosed with at 5 months of age. He is non-verbal, cognitively around 3-4 years old, and has some significant behavioral issues.

Kelly Womack
Trustee at Gateway Seminary
Kelly Womack lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas with her husband and sons. She earned a MDiv from Gateway Seminary in 2003.

Thank You and Goodbye

Dr. Iorg expresses thanks to all who made his time at Gateway Seminary remarkable.

Jeff Iorg
President Emeritus
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president emeritus 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.

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10 Questions with 10 Pastors
May 27, 2024

The Meilstrups

Creative Solutions Team Leaders, Deron and Mary Beth Meilstrup, are missionaries in Sub-Saharan Africa with the IMB, who joined Tyler to talk about their work. Digital media and internet engagement are growing methods of sharing the gospel which are increasingly usefu

Jonathan Edwards Center Podcast
May 21, 2024

Jonathan Edwards and the Asbury Revival – Part 1

Recorded during the Asbury Revival. This episode features Chris Chun, director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary and professor of church history, on Jonathan Edwards’ work on revivals in light of the revival activity


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Jonathan Edwards and the Asbury Revival

Chris Chun and Chris Woznicki discuss the signs of true revival, signs of the work of the Holy Spirit, and why it is important to critically assess the characteristics of revival in a spirit of charity.

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).

Jonathan Edwards and the Baptists | Douglas Sweeney, Nathan Finn and Chris Chun

Dr. Douglas Sweeney and Dr. Nathan Finn joined Dr. Chris Chun for a panel discussion on Jonathan Edwards, recorded live at the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim.

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).

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