Who is Sutton Turner?

I’m a Texan at heart. I used to have a lot of big-time hobbies that came with that description but trying hard to be a dedicated husband and father seems to take up all my time. My wife Marci and I have been married since 1997. We met while at graduate school at SMU. The Lord has taken us to eight different geographic locations during our marriage and we have grown from each home we’ve shared together. Outside of my salvation, she is my greatest gift from the Lord.

God has chosen to give us two daughters, Grace (1999) and Faye (2004), and one son, Joseph (2010). I know that they have been entrusted to me and Marci for only a short season and we are doing all that we can to sow the fruit of righteousness in their young lives–and pray for a gracious harvest from the Holy Spirit. Simply speaking, I want to see God receive more and more glory in my life, in my family, in the lives of people down my street, in the Church, and to the ends of the earth!

More specifically, I want to partner with Jesus in all the work he is doing in Ethiopia. I pray to see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of Ethiopians worshiping Jesus in heaven with me. But “how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:15).

My heart is to do all that I can through service, giving, and prayer to equip Ethiopian men and women to evangelize their country until everyone has heard!

Professional Overview

Sutton Turner combines almost 30 years of business experience leading 5 different businesses across three different countries as CEO (United States, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi). These businesses include real estate, investment, development, brokerage, facilities management, consulting, and other business services.  Sutton has also led the acquisition and financing of businesses and real estate across the world. 

In 1998, Sutton co-founded the Wentwood Companies with his brother and served for 10 years as a managing partner, providing services across 10 states and 36 locations.  The company’s competitive advantage was the ability to turn around troubled assets all across the US.  Today, Wentwood manages a portfolio of institutional real estate funds that have been capitalized in excess of $9 billion and have been invested in affordable multifamily properties across 49 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, as well as own/manage over 5,000 units of affordable housing in 10 states. 

In 2008, he served as the founding CEO of Khidmah (“service” in Arabic), currently the largest services management company in the UAE with over 1,000 employees. As CEO, Sutton created the first full-service real estate management company in Abu Dhabi, UAE with $600M in assets and $1.8B under development.  A critical element to Khidmah’s success was the establishment of recruiting channels for skilled workers and professionals from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Syria.  

In 2010, Sutton led Waseef, LLC in Doha, Qatar.  This subsidiary of Barwa leads Qatar 2030 on behalf of His Highness Sheikh / Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – The Emir.  As CEO of Waseef, Sutton reorganized the company which had no business plan, model, organization, processes, and operating systems. In the first 90 days, he completed the strategic business plan, 5-year budget, and organizational structure.  During this tenure, he implemented a worldwide business development plan and mobilized staff to gain new management business including the contract for the 2011 Asian Olympic Village and the housing and management of 10,000 athletes.

Sutton joined Mars Hill Church in Seattle in 2011 as General Manager. He was then promoted to Executive Pastor, Executive Elder, and Board Member. Mars Hill had a weekly podcast audience of over 250,000 and an attendance of 15,000 across five states and 15 locations. Because of his experience at Mars Hill and what he learned there, Sutton is passionate about seeing churches have healthy and loving cultures led by healthy and loving leaders. Sutton has extensive experience with churches and non-profits in the areas of culture, governance, organizational design, and growth strategies.

After leaving Mars Hill, Sutton assisted the development of a Family Office in San Antonio followed by serving as COO of Vanderbloemen in Houston, Texas.  Under Sutton’s leadership, Vanderbloemen was able to assist over 275k people with PPP education and webinars via Facebook Live during Covid19. He launched 3 new practices (non-profit, values-based businesses, and Christian schools & colleges), launched remote internship programs, and launched an internal and external diversity initiative which took Vanderbloemen’s diversity over 25% and offered clients diversity coaching and hiring to change their organization.

Sutton is the author of Invest Your Gifts for His Mission, an executive pastor leadership book released in 2013. He published You Will Be My Witnesses by Dr. Eyasu Ferenj in 2014, a groundbreaking evangelism book in Amharic (the language of Ethiopia).

Sutton is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. His doctorate is focused on the organizational development of healthy church boards. He holds master’s degrees from Southern Methodist University (MBA), Texas A&M University (Agr.), and Harvard Business School (OPM).  He obtained his undergraduate from Texas A&M University in 1993.

Texas A&M University
PhD, Human Resource Development, 2021 – Current

Harvard Business School
Owner President Management Program, 2006 – 2008

Southern Methodist University
Cox School of Business | MBA, Real Estate, 1996 – 2001

Texas A&M University
Masters, Agriculture, 1993 – 1995

Texas A&M University
B.S., 1990 – 1993