Former Gateway Seminary president dies at 81

Published: March 7, 2017

ONTARIO, Calif. — William O. Crews, 81, president emeritus of Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention, passed away March 1 after a brief illness.

"William O. Crews was a Baptist statesman, who profoundly impacted our work in the western United States,” said Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary. “He was a friend and mentor to many, who will miss him deeply. His impact at Gateway Seminary lives on through our emphasis on shaping leaders — Bill's passion and legacy."

Crews became the sixth president of Gateway Seminary (formerly Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary) in December 1986. He transitioned to the role of chancellor in 2003 and retired in 2005. Previously, he had served as pastor of the 2,300-member Magnolia Church in Riverside, Calif., for eight years and as a pastor at churches in Washington, Oregon and Texas.

He also served as president of the Northwest Baptist Convention and the California Southern Baptist Convention.

During his tenure as Gateway president, the seminary established new campuses in Phoenix (1995) and Denver (1996). The seminary also achieved accreditation approval to offer full masters degrees at all five of its campuses. (BP)