Gerard Long is the Executive Director of Alpha USA. Following a dramatic encounter with God in 1980, Gerard has lived with one burning ambition: to please the Lord Jesus and to obey His will. He had been planning to build on his success as a runner and businessman but, after his encounter with God, he felt a calling to serve in a church in North London. He was at this church for 22 years, including 17 as a pastor, while also working in the banking and finance industry.
Gerard has a BSc (Hons) Banking and Finance degree and worked for HSBC (one of the largest banks in the world) for 30 years, retiring at the end of 2006 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing. His banking career took him around the world and included some fascinating roles, including Director of the Year 2000 Program (Millennium Bug) for the UK and Europe. In 2001 he moved to New York to launch a global product and then moved to Chicago to direct the integration of HSBC and Household International, following the latter’s $13.8 billion purchase in 2003.
He has appeared on TV and in major newspapers both as an advisor on the Millennium Bug (Y2K) and as a Christian living for Jesus Christ in the City of London. All through his banking career, Gerard sought to introduce his colleagues to Christ and led many Alpha courses in the workplace. Prior to moving to the US, he was also Chairman of Christians in Finance (founded in 1875).
As well as experiencing wonderful joy in knowing and serving the Lord Jesus, Gerard has known the deepest grief and suffering in the loss of his youngest son. This, and a number of other painful trials, has served to heighten Gerard’s desire to complete the work that God has for him and, in particular, to see as many people as possible come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In 2006, Gerard decided to leave behind a highly paid banking career and join Alpha USA. He now leads the organization whose mission is to serve local churches in presenting the Gospel through the Alpha course. He has witnessed many incredible conversions to Christ while leading over 50 Alpha courses in his home, church, clubs, the workplace and a jail. (Alpha is now being run in over 169 countries and more than 15 million people have gone through the course).
Gerard lives with his wife Jeannie in Chicago, IL. His daughter Rebecca also works for Alpha USA, and his son Ben works in the City of London, UK. To relax, Gerard enjoys spending time with family and friends, his two golden retrievers, golf, skiing, tennis and gardening.