Eric and Candace Johnson have served in leadership roles at Bethel Church in Redding, California, for the last 18 years, including serving as senior pastors since 2011. They said "yes" with forever in mind and for nearly 10 years, they invested strength and leadership into the role of helping to foster a vibrant church with a global impact. In a news release, the church reported how its senior leadership team, board, staff and church family have deep love, honor and respect for these two dynamic leaders.
With much prayer and counsel, Eric and Candace have decided that this chapter of serving as senior pastors has drawn to a close, and on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, they publicly announced their resignation. They made their decision after prayerful consideration and thought for several months.
They were not asked or pressured to resign. There was no moral failure, inciting incident, pandemic or political fatigue, theological difference or issue of health or capacity involved. Rather, this is about courage, strength and faith, as they have an inner sense that this role is no longer the right fit for them in this season of their lives.
"We are family, and we will always be a part of this movement," the couple says. "While this decision may feel odd and unexpected, there is a deep sense of peace. We are anchored in hope and believe that the best is yet to come, both for us and for the future of Bethel."
While there is sadness in this transition, we are incredibly grateful that Eric and Candace will continue to serve through the end of January 2021, working closely with the rest of Bethel's leadership team to create as smooth of a transition as possible for our Bethel Church family and staff. This will allow some time to connect with the church family on the other side of this announcement. They created and empowered an excellent church leadership team who will continue to lead alongside the senior leadership team.
At this time, Eric and Candace don't know what is next for them. They are trusting in God's goodness as they finish one assignment and await the next. We look forward to them preaching at Bethel services and conferences on occasion in the months and years to come. The senior leadership team and church board will be providing an interim plan in the near future, but will take time with the Lord and one another concerning a long-term strategy.
We love and support Eric and Candace in their faithfulness and obedience to follow the Lord. They are, in every way, family, and are trusted leaders in close relationship with this house.
"We know this was not an easy decision for Eric and Candace to make. And yet, know that as a Senior Leadership Team, we fully support them in their decision to resign as the senior pastors of Bethel Church here in Redding. And while there is sadness in this transition, we remain expectant and full of hope for this next season: for them and for us," said Bill Johnson, Bethel Church senior leader.
To watch a video of Eric and Candace reflecting on the change and another of Bethel's senior leadership team discussing this announcement, visit bethel.com/ericandcandace.
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