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Douglas E. Clay was voted general superintendent of the General Council of the Assemblies of God USA in a stunning vote after former General Superintendent George O. Wood removed his name from the ballot. Clay previously served as general treasurer for the General Council of the Assemblies of God (AG).
Clay received 2,079 of the 2,692 votes in the final ballot, topping Richard W. DuBose and John E. Lindell. Wood warmly welcomed a visibly choked-up Clay and his wife, Gayle, to the stage following the vote.
"It's incredibly overwhelming," Clay said. "I suspect you'd agree with me it's difficult to find the right expressions in times like this, so I first of all want to say thank you for your expression of confidence. We accept this as the will of the Lord and will do our absolute best to fulfill this. ... I would ask that the applause and the affirmation for our current superintendent, George Wood, be louder than the appreciation and the welcome of us, because this is one classy man right here."
Loud applause broke out in the auditorium for Wood, including whoops and whistles. Clay asked the audience to honor the Wood family for their years of contributions to the Assemblies of God worldwide.
"I would never try to fill the shoes, but I certainly would try to build upon what a great foundation and structure, Dr. Wood, that you and others have given in this role," Clay said. "So again, we love you and we appreciate you. Thank you very much."
Following Clay's remarks, Wood wished him a heartfelt congratulations and said the best days were yet ahead for the Assemblies of God.
Multiple rounds of voting took place earlier that day. Wood participated in at least one of those rounds of voting before removing his name from the ballot. After Clay's strong performance, one source suggested Wood "felt this was indicative of a different direction."
Many attendees were surprised by Wood's decision, and reactions poured in from attendees on social media. Pastor David Barringer, from Kalamazoo First in Kalamazoo, Michigan, said, "Honored to serve under the leadership of George O Wood. As we face a leader transition, I believe the best has yet to come for the [Assemblies of God.]"
Daniel Green tweeted, "What Dr. George O. Wood did today is what true leaders do. He led the way, and then passed the baton when the time came. Very proud."
Wood served as General Superintendent for 10 years. He was first elected to the position in 2007, following a 14-year tenure as General Secretary.
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