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Pastor Rick Warren (Saddleback Church YouTube channel)
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Rick Warren Announces Retirement From Saddleback Church and Names Successor

Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has announced his retirement after more than 42 years as the senior pastor there. He will step down in September and will hand the reins of one of the largest churches in America to Andy Wood, who, with his wife, Stacie, will come to lead Saddleback after serving 14 years at Echo Church in San Jose, California.

Warren, 67, and his wife, Kay, founded Saddleback Church in 1980. It is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and is said to be the largest church in California. Warren announced his retirement and successor this week on the church's website and Facebook page.

"This is the historic news that I've wanted to share with you for quite some time," Warren wrote to his congregants. "There are many details that I'm eager to share with you. You can watch this video for more information.

This Moving Documentary Will Make You Believe Nothing Is Impossible With God

As a young Kenyan boy, Charles Mully woke up in his hut to find that his family had abandoned him. For 10 years, he begged on the streets to survive.

"I became hard," Mully says. "I became full of hatred. I became a street boy."

Mully hated his life, and he wanted to commit suicide. At his lowest point, a young man invited him to a church for prayer and fellowship. While he was sitting and listening to the preacher, the preacher said, "Work hard, and by faith, there is nothing impossible before God."

Michael Brown: I Understand Why Some Call Us Hateful

More than 15 years ago, God called me to "reach out and resist," meaning, reach out to the gay community with compassion and resist the gay agenda with courage. From that moment on, I knew that I would be branded a hater. But I do understand why.

For some, of course, it's a matter of using a tried-and-true strategy. Demonize your opponents. Don't deal with the actual issues but attack the people. Brand them Nazis and haters and homophobes and bigots. Don't allow them to be taken seriously.

But for others, this is not a matter of strategy. They genuinely feel that we hate them or, worse still, that our God hates them.

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