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The People Who Guide Our Ministry

Don Lough, President and CEO of Word of Life

Don Lough

Don Lough, Jr. follows a great legacy of leadership as President and CEO of Word of Life Fellowship. He brings more than 30 years of experience and service in the ministry as he shares the passion of those who have gone before him – holding forth the Word of Life.

Don is a graduate of Word of Life Bible Institute, Cedarville University (B.A.), and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and he holds a doctorate (DMin) in strategic leadership from Capital Seminary. He has received honorary doctorates from Tennessee Temple University and Davis College. Don has served as the contributing author of multiple books and publications, sharing insights on biblical faith and leadership strategies.

Don previously served as the Vice President of the International Ministries Division of Word of Life. In 2011, he stepped into his current role as the president and CEO of Word of Life as well as the Chancellor of Word of Life Bible Institute. Don also serves on the Board of Trustees at Cedarville University. He and his wife, Darla, have been married for over 30 years and rejoice as the parents of four adult children who are engaged in ministry.

John nelson

John Nelson

Executive Assistant to the President and Director of Word of Life Foundation

John has served with Word of Life for more than 40 years in several leadership roles. He attended Cornerstone University and then graduated from Michigan State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Economics in 1980. After teaching high school business for two years and working on Word of Life Island during the summers, his full-time ministry with Word of Life began in 1982 as publications manager. He has since served in leadership roles in camps, operations, finance and advancement. John has served directly under all of the previous Word of Life leaders including currently in his role as Executive Assistant to Don Lough, Jr. He has a passion to serve and to help develop the next generation of Christian leaders. John and his wife Elizabeth have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Rich Andrews
VP of Florida Ministries


VP of Youth and Family Camps

Rich Andrews, with over 25 years at Word of Life Florida, alongside his wife Lynn, engages in camp activities, the conference center, and the Bible Institute, bringing dedication and experience to his role.

Brian Baker
VP of the New York Bible Institute and Camps


Executive Dean Word of Life Bible Institute

Brian Baker prioritizes fostering a strong biblical foundation for young individuals. Committed to preaching, teaching, and mentoring, Brian actively contributes to the growth and development of both current and future leaders within the organization.

John Collins
Director of Youth Ministries

John Collins

Director of Youth Ministries

John has been in youth work for over 35 years, and he applies that knowledge as the Director of Word of Life Youth Ministries. He is passionate about mobilizing the next generation to reach their generation with the gospel. John loves the outdoors, sports and his family.

Scott Foreman

Scott Foreman

VP of Growth and Impact Strategies

Scott Foreman has served in full-time ministry since 1999. Committed to advancing the Lord’s work with fervor and wise stewardship, Scott, alongside his wife Rachel, holds dear their four sons, having dedicated his life to the Lord at age 16 at Word of Life Canada.

Eric Messer
VP of Operations and Central Services

Eric Messer

VP of Operations and Central Services

Eric Messer, with his wife Karalie, has served with Word of Life for over a decade, building teams to effectively reach young people with the gospel.

Chip Nightingale

Chip Nightingale

Director of the Advancement Department

Chip Nightingale brings 25 years of experience to support those faithfully serving Word of Life through their giving, making a significant impact on the organization.

Kris Stout
Executive VP of International Ministries

Kris Stout

Executive VP of International Ministries

Kris Stout oversees over 1,500 missionaries worldwide, connecting people and leading with a deep passion for spreading the Gospel.

Mark Strout Executive Dean of Global Bible Institutes and Professor

Mark Strout

Executive Dean of Global Bible Institutes and Professor

Mark Strout oversees the Florida Bible Institute and provides accreditation oversight for eight international campuses. Serving as an adjunct professor globally, Mark contributes significantly to the academic aspects of Word of Life.

Past Directors

JACK WYRTZEN Director 1940-1990

Director 1940-1990

Jack founded the ministry after trusting Christ as a young man. His passion was to share the Gospel and to reach young people. Jack’s contagious enthusiasm and his desire to be used of God were hallmarks of his leadership.

Director 1940-1990

Director 1940-1990

Harry was invited by Jack Wyrtzen to become the Co-Director. He was used of God to launch the International Ministries of Word of Life and in later years, he began the Tour Ministries (Gospel Productions) which presented the Word of God through music, drama and multi-media.

GEORGE THEIS Director 1991-1999

GEORGE THEIS Director 1991-1999

George followed the leadership of Jack Wyrtzen and Harry Bollback and led Word of Life to expand the International Ministries into ten new locations – a total of 44 countries. Under his leadership and through his vision was born the need for a new teaching facility and library at Word of Life Bible Institute.

Director 1999-2011

JOE JORDAN Director 1999-2011

Joe served as Executive Director after founding the ministry of Word of Life in Argentina in 1970. His dynamic leadership was instrumental for numerous capital project upgrades to facilities, the growth of the ministry into 63 countries and the development of a new generation of leadership around the world.


Other Leaders that Help Guide the Ministry


Our board of directors includes both business and ministry leaders who have proven themselves to live by Godly wisdom that shows in their lives and areas of influence.


Discover all of the leaders that make the ministry of Word of Life a reality. Below is the list of all of our directors who head up the major areas of the ministry around the world.