G. Raymond Carlson to Retire from Assemblies of God Post
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ G. Raymond Carlson will retire at the end of the year as general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, the church said today.
Carlson, 75, told the church’s Executive Presbytery last month he would not seek another term of office, said Juleen Turnage, a spokeswoman at the denomination’s international headquarters here.
The church will elect a new chief executive at its 45th General Council in Minneapolis on Aug. 10-15, Mrs. Turnage said.
Carlson was elected assistant general superintendent in 1969 and had been general superintendent since 1986.
Carlson’s term as general superintendent included sex-and-money scandals involving television evangelists Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, whose preaching credentials were revoked.
″That, of course, was not a pleasant time,″ Carlson said. ″It was embarrassing. But out of it our church gained further worldwide attention. Despite the fact it was unpleasant and embarrassing, out of it came some wonderful relationships within our church and with leaders of other denominations.″
The church has grown worldwide from 15 million adherents in 1986 to more than 22 million today. The Assemblies of God, founded in 1914, has about 2.2 million members in 11,000 U.S. churches.