AG Names New General Secretary

The governing body of the Assemblies of God (AG) on Thursday named Missouri pastor James T. Bradford as its new general secretary. The appointment came roughly a week after the man who previously held the post resigned over ethical misconduct and inappropriate interaction with a woman.

Bradford, 56, was unanimously appointed by the denomination's Executive Presbytery and will begin his duties as general secretary immediately. He will remain pastor of Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Mo., through Easter.

According to its Web site, the general secretary's office oversees the credentialing of ministers, church chartering, the collection of official statistics and the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

"I have known Jim for many years, and find him a stellar Christian leader in every way," said AG General Superintendent George O. Wood, who announced Bradford's appointment Thursday during a meeting at the denomination's headquarters in Springfield.

Bradford's appointment follows the resignation of John M. Palmer, who confessed to ethical misconduct and inappropriate interaction with a woman. A Feb. 13 statement said the incident did not involve physical intimacy.

"We are deeply saddened by this failure," Wood said last week. "John has had a sterling record in the Assemblies of God as a church planter, pastor, and national leader. This failure on his part is an aberration from a lifetime of faithful service to the Lord, his family, and our Fellowship."

Palmer's duties as general secretary ended immediately, but Wood said he was hopeful that "following a period of rehabilitation yet to be determined, his ministry within our Fellowship will continue with great effectiveness."

Palmer had served as the general secretary since November 2007.

After graduating in 1979, he became a full-time minister with Chi Alpha and was later ordained by the AG's Minnesota District. He was pastor of Newport-Mesa Christian Center in Orange County and Broadway Church in Vancouver, B.C., before moving to Springfield in 2003 to lead Central Assembly.

Bradford has also served on the boards of Vanguard University, the Southern California District Executive Presbytery and the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God.

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