-Pastor Rick Warren Sets For Retirement As He Decides To Step Down
Popular pastor of Saddleback church in the United States, Rick Warren, who has been heading the church for several decades is set to step down and as identified who will become his successor.
“This afternoon, at our all-staff meeting held at the Lake Forest campus, I was finally able to publicly announce that we have found God’s couple to lead our congregation, and that they have agreed to come!” Rick Warren told his congregation via email, on Thursday, as he prepares his retirement.
The email which was sent to the members of the church, included link to a video where the current Head pastor, Rick Warren and his wife Kay along with Andy Wood who is the lead pastor of Echo Church in San Jose, California, and Stacie Wood who is a teaching pastor. They will also be given the same role at the Saddleback church.
Andy who is the lead pastor of the Echo church which was formally known as the south bay in 2008, now has over 4 campuses which pulls out over 3,000 crowd weekly for service.
The clergyman said in a statement , “Kay and I believe so much in this couple, we love them so much, and we are confident that God has prepared and chosen them to take up the baton and run the next leg of the Saddleback marathon.”
The quest for a new pastor began last summer, due to the health of conditions of pastor Warren, who had already brought it to the notice of his members. He told them of his spinal myoclonus, which causes tremors and blurred vision, and it had worsened in recent years.
Before finally coming to a conclusion on Andy Wood taking over as the head pastor of Saddleback church, different candidates have been proposed and spoken to by the church elders.
Andy who is preparing ahead of his new chapter, plans to step down in the month of June and move to orange county, would also be meeting and conversation between Warrens and the Woods over Father’s Day weekend. Which will be the first step of his reign as the new head pastor of the church.
Rick Warren Sets For Retirement
The Saddleback church will celebrate and honour Pastor Warren after his service in the first weeks of September. While Andy will begin official work as the pastor from September 12.
“For decades, we have admired and respected Pastor Rick and Kay Warren and their work through the Purpose Driven Church model has been critical,” Wood said in a statement. ”We’ve been so blessed by their friendship, and after months of prayer and seeking counsel from others, we believe that God has called us together to step into serving at Saddleback Church.”
The pastor and his wife said in an email which was sent to the congregation, on how they felt so loved and their gratitude towards the church and extracting a Bible verse talking about fighting the good fight and finishing the race.
“Now it is time for us to pass the torch on to a new generation who will love, lead, and pastor our church family in the decades ahead,” he wrote. Warren’s retirement will mark the end of a remarkable career in ministry.
Warren, who graduated from the from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in December 1979, moved to Saddleback Valley in Orange County, California, with his wife Kay, with his 4-month old baby.
After he moved into the city, the pastor recalled he once had a revelation of God telling him to plant a church in the land.
“It didn’t matter that I had no money, no members, and had never even seen the place,” he wrote. “From that moment on, our destination was a settled issue. God had shown me where he was going to make some waves, and I was going to have the ride of a lifetime.”
The church kicked on a Easter Sunday in 1980, where over 200 crowds were in attendance in a rented space at the Laguna Hills High School in Orange County.
During Warren’s early stage in ministry, he hoped to spend his entire days in ministry. Warren also wanted to emulate one of his mentors, W. A. Criswell who spent over 5 decades in ministry.
“It was my promise to God and to you, God’s people,” Warren said last summer. “It was my way of saying: ‘You don’t need to worry about me leaving when times get tough for you. I’m here for the duration. I’m going to give my life to this church. I’m going to stick with you,’ and I kept the promise.”
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