It has been known for sometime that Rick Warren was stepping down at Saddleback Church. In doing so, Saddleback Church also ordained three women pastors in sharp opposition to its stated Baptist theology. Today, Saddleback Church has announced the successor of Rick Warren, Andy Wood. Andy Wood previously was the senior pastor at Echo Church. Echo Church is a multicampus megachurch operation in the San Jose, California area. It is perhaps a rare example of a church advertising merger opportunities with other churches. In a statement, Rick Warren announced:
Today, Kay and I are thrilled to publicly announce our next Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church and his wife: Andy & Stacie Wood, who will be coming to lead Saddleback from their 14-year ministry at Echo Church in San Jose, California. Like Kay and me, Andy and Stacie started a brand new Purpose Driven Church with just a handful of people and they grew it to nearly 3,000 attendees on 4 campuses. Kay and I, and our Elders, have unanimously selected Andy Wood to lead us into the future as a church family. We are all SO excited! You’re going to absolutely LOVE this couple. Andy is 40 years old and full of God’s love!
It is implied that even if the pastor’s wife is not a pastor herself, she will also be in leadership. This concludes a year long search conducted by Rick Warren.
Saddleback Church has arguably been one of the most influential churches in the United States in over the last 30 years with Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church, along with other strategies Warren has developed that were used to start many megachurches.
Andy Wood will begin transitioning from Echo Church to Saddleback with his start date being September 12th.