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Rick Warren retiring as lead pastor at California megachurch

Rick Warren
Posted at 7:25 PM, Jun 07, 2021

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Megachurch pastor Rick Warren has announced his retirement after 42 years of leading Saddleback Church in Southern California.

A search for his successor will be launched this week.

The Orange County Register reported Monday that the 67-year-old Warren shared the news with his congregation on Sunday.

Warren said he'll continue to serve as the lead pastor until a successor is in place.

He said he'll then step back into a less "visible position as founding pastor."

There is no timeline for the search.

Warren declined to speak about his retirement plans on Monday.

Before preaching on Easter Sunday in 2019, Warren said that he and his wife made a promise that they'd "give 40 years to one location," the Associated Press reported.

Saddleback Church, which has 14 locations in Southern California, and its main campus located in Lake Forest, attracts an average weekly attendance of 30,000.

The church also has locations in Hong Kong, Germany, the Philippines, and Argentina.