ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 10, 2017 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Douglas E. Clay is the new general superintendent-elect of the U.S. Assemblies of God, elected Wednesday afternoon subsequent to George O. Wood, who has held the post for 10 years, withdrawing his name from contention.
Wood asked General Council voters in Anaheim to no longer consider him for office after three ballots failed to produce the necessary two-thirds majority for re-election.
"It's been my wonderful privilege to serve 24 years," declared Wood, who served 14 years as the Fellowship's general secretary prior to his election as general superintendent. "It's been the privilege of a lifetime."
Wood has served as general superintendent since the General Council in Indianapolis in 2007. He succeeded Thomas E. Trask, who chose to step down midway through his term. Wood was assistant superintendent of the Southern California District from 1988 to 1993, and pastored Newport-Mesa Christian Center in Costa Mesa, California, for 17 years before that.
Under Wood's leadership as general superintendent, a number of new initiatives were began, including AG Trust, which has raised over $23 million for church planting and revitalization, scholarships, and multiple new initiatives and resources. The Church Multiplication Network was also established, leading to 3,307 new churches being added to the Fellowship over the last decade. Over 25 percent of churches in the AG have been started during Dr. Wood's tenure.
Wood was also a champion of religious liberties. As an attorney, he was able to lend rare expertise to the defense of religious liberties and the attacks against the Church throughout his tenure.
In his acceptance, Clay was joined by his wife, Gail. He immediately turned the attention to Wood, requesting that attendees honor Wood and his wife, Jewel, all week for their contribution to the AG worldwide. He then pledged to prayerfully give the Fellowship their best.
"I will never fill the shoes," Clay said, addressing Wood, "but build on the great foundation you and others have built."
As general treasurer, Clay initially filled the unexpired term of James K. Bridges, who resigned in 2008 after 15 years in the office. He previously served as executive presbyter from the Great Lakes region, superintendent of the Ohio Ministry Network from 2004 to 2008, national youth director (1995-97), and Ohio youth director (1989-95). He also was senior pastor of Calvary Assembly of God in Toledo, Ohio, from 1997-2004.
Other newly elected officers at the 2017 General Council include Rick DuBose in the role of general treasurer; Malcolm Burleigh in the role of executive director of AG U.S. Missions; and Melissa Alfaro, Daniel De Leon, Samuel Huddleston, Bill Wilson, Rob Ketterling, and Terry Yancey who were elected to the AG's 21-member Executive Presbytery.
The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 and has 3.2 million adherents in the U.S. in over 13,000 churches. With 68.5 million adherents and 367,000 churches globally, it is the world's fourth largest Christian community.