Dr. Jack Zorn
Founder, Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes
Dr. Jack Zorn was born on November 8, 1934, on a sharecropper’s farm in Geneva County, Ala. His father suffered from alcoholism, and his mother struggled to instill Christian values in the family.
As a young boy, he struggled in school because he often had to work the farm instead of attend classes. Stuttering badly, he dropped out of school and went to work.
In 1951, he was baptized during a gospel meeting held by Bill Hatcher. A student from Alabama Christian College encouraged him to come to “college” to get help finishing high school and begin college. Dr. Rex Turner, Sr. put him to work and enrolled him in college. There he met Sarah Frances Johnson, who became his wife in 1956.
Without any grants or scholarships, Dr. Zorn worked his way through school. He earned a B.A. from Alabama Christian College, an M.A. from Harding Graduate School and a Doctorate of Religious Education from the International Bible Institute and Seminary.
In his 21 years of full time preaching, he served local congregations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. While preaching at Warner Robins, Ga., he was asked by the elders to develop a leadership training program for the youth at the congregation. He envisioned what today we know as Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes. What started with eight boys in Georgia has now grown to thousands of participants in churches of Christ across the United States and several other countries.
In the November 1999 issue of the Gospel Advocate, Dr. Zorn was named one of the 100 Trailblazers in the church of Christ, along with brotherhood greats like Gus Nichols and Marshall Keeble.
Dr. Zorn is currently retired and lives in Sylacauga, Ala. His lovely wife, Frances, passed away on July 15, 2017. Her dedication to Dr. Zorn and the Lads to Leaders program through its early years was instrumental in the success and growth of the program. They were active in their local congregation, Hollins Church of Christ for many years. Dr. Zorn is now in poor health but they still mentors young people as his health allows. His life’s work has been preparing others for service in the kingdom of God.