Seminary president to speak at the Weekend of Encouragement

Iorg photo suitDr. Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and guest speaker for the Weekend of Encouragement set for March 20-22 said over the years, he has learned that a positive word can make all the difference.

“I started out in ministry with a more negative, judgmental attitude,” Iorg said. “While I still believe it is important to uphold biblical truth, I have learned to do so in a more positive way. I also have learned that most Christians – and many ministers – are struggling with the demands of daily life and a positive word makes all the difference.”

Iorg’s encouraging words will be the focus of the upcoming Weekend of Encouragement, sponsored by the Webster County Baptist Association.

“I hope people will find strength from the Bible, from my positive words of affirmation and blessing, and find the strength they need to press forward – both in life and ministry,” Iorg said. “My favorite way to encourage others is through positive words of affirmation and blessing.  The best way for one church to encourage another church is by sharing resources – people and money – to help them get through a challenging project.”

The county-wide revival is a follow-up to last year’s Discipleship Revival. This year, the event will take place in three locations over the course of one weekend to encourage those on a personal, a church-wide and county-wide level.

Services are set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 20 at Mantee Baptist Church with the theme: “How to Find Personal Encouragement;” 7 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Eupora with the theme, “How to be an Encourager Within My Church;” and 7 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church of Mathiston with the theme, “Churches Encouraging Churches.”

The guest speaker for the Weekend of Encouragement will be Dr. Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in San Francisco, Calif.

Iorg was executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost 10 years and the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Ore.  He earned his bachelor of arts degree at Hardin Simmons University, a master’s of divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctorate of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was the founding pastor of a church near Portland, Oregon in 1989 that has grown to be the largest SBC church in Oregon.

Martin Jacks, director of missions for the Webster County Baptist Association said one of Dr. Iorg’s gifts is exposition of scriptural encouragement and it is a blessing to have him here locally.

Rev. Wade Stevens of First Baptist Church of Mathiston said the success of last year’s meetings has the planning committee pretty excited about this year’s event.

“It is not everyday that a rural community like ours is fortunate enough to host one of our seminary presidents,” Stevens said. “There are roughly 45,000 SBC churches and just six seminaries, so to have Dr. Iorg come here is a big deal. I have enjoyed his preaching in conferences and convention meetings for several years and am looking forward to our people have the opportunity to hear him preach. More than anything else we are praying for a renewed emphasis on and practice of evangelism and missions among our churches. We are blessed to live in an area with a rich Christian heritage, but we desperately need to be reminded that there is work yet to be done in Webster County.”

Rev. Travis Gray of First Baptist Church of Eupora said he is looking forward to Dr. Iorg’s messages.

“He is a great speaker and I am looking forward to him challenging us,” Gray said. “We are very fortunate to have him here in Webster County churches.”

And while Rev. William Carpenter of Mantee Baptist Church is looking forward to the fellowship of Christians in area churches over this special weekend, he said he also hopes to be encouraged by “the excellent preaching of Dr. Iorg.”

“Dr. Iorg is one of the preeminent scholars and Southern Baptist leaders of our day,” Carpenter said. “He is also very capable speaking not just to scholars but to regular church people.  I believe everyone will be greatly encouraged by the messages Dr. Iorg will bring to us.”

The public is invited to attend each night of the special revival. For more information about the Weekend of Encouragement call the Webster County Baptist Association office at (662) 258-5611.

See this story in the March 18, 2015 edition of The Webster Progress Times at

See a portion of this story in the March 19, 2015 edition of the First Baptist Church of Eupora newsletter at BR Newsletter 3-19-15

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