Rick Warren steps down as Saddleback Church leader, announces successor

Rick Warren

Founders of Saddleback Church, Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, have announced the lead pastors of Echo Church, Andy Wood and his wife, Stacie, as the new leaders of the church. They will resume their new position in September, 2022.

Warren and his wife have been in ministry for almost 43 years. Rick, who is the author of the Purpose Driven Life and Purpose Driven Church, founded the Saddleback Church in 1980.

While speaking on the announcement, Rick said, “Kay and I believe so much in this couple (Andy and Stacie Wood). 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.
“We truly, deeply, confidently and unreservedly endorse this couple to take our church to the next level of growth and impact.”

He also spoke about how he searched for his replacement. He said, “In March, I invited a young purpose-driven pastor to preach our weekend services who fit all of the qualifications on our list.

“Fourteen years ago, he had planted a purpose-driven church in the San Jose-Silicon Valley area. Andy and Stacie Wood grew that church to around 3,000 people in one of the most difficult places in America to start a church. I am so proud of what they have accomplished there.”

On June 26, Wood and his wife will officially step down from Echo Church and move to Orange County in July. Warren’s final preaching series will be in August which will also have Wood in attendance.

Warren’s 43 years of service will be celebrated at the church on September 3 and 4. Meanwhile, Andy and Stacie Wood will resume their new position on September 10.

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