Former longtime leader of Assemblies of God passes away

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George O. Wood. Photo courtest Assemblies of God of the United States.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – George O. Wood, former superintendent of the Assemblies of God and interim president of Evangel University, has passed away.  He was 80.

Current Evangel president Dr. Michael Rakes announced Wood, the longtime leader of the Springfield-based Pentecostal church denomination, died on Wednesday. A statement from the Assemblies of God confirms Wood died after a four and a half month long struggle with stage 4 cancer. 

“It makes my heart very sad today to learn the news of the passing of Evangel University alumnus and former General Superintendent of The Assemblies of God, Dr. George O. Wood. He passed away January 12, 2022 and entered into his eternal reward,” Rakes stated.

Prior to leading the 3-million member Assemblies of God of the United States from 2007 until 2017, Wood served as the denomination’s General Secretary beginning in 1993. The Assemblies of God of the U.S., which is headquartered on N. Boonville Avenue in Springfield, is part of the 67.5-million-member Worldwide Assemblies of God, which.

According to the Assemblies of God, the denomination experienced major growth during Wood’s tenure.

“During Wood’s tenure as leader, the U.S. Fellowship experienced consistent numerical growth. The U.S. AG grew to a then-record number of adherents, 3,240,258, under Wood’s leadership — a rise from 2,863,265 a decade earlier. The number of U.S. AG churches rose to an all-time high of 13,023, an increase from 12,362 in 2007.

He helped move the AG to a more diverse body that better reflected the nation’s overall demographics. The Fellowship became one of the most ethnically diverse denominations in America, with 42.3% of adherents representing ethnic minorities when he left office, compared to 36.9% when he began.”

In addition to his leadership positions with the denomination, he held the distinction of serving the students of the Assemblies of God’s Evangel University, his alma mater, twice during his career.  He was the first campus pastor of then-Evangel College, serving from 1970 to 1971.  He then served as interim president from 2020-2021.  

Rakes said, “The Assemblies of God, Evangel University, and God’s kingdom on this earth will be forever grateful for his giftedness and acute mind and tender heart. Please join the entire EU Cabinet and the Evangel family around the world in giving thanks to God for this great champion and join our prayers for his wife, Jewel, son George P., daughter Evangeline, and his entire family.”

On Wednesday evening, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure issued a statement on the passing of Dr. Wood.

“George Wood was a remarkable leader and a person known for building bridges and bringing people together,” McClure began. “He was proud to help move the Assemblies of God to a more diverse organization that reflects the nation’s demographics and because of that, Springfield, being its hometown headquarters, benefitted. I particularly appreciate his service most recently as the interim president at Evangel University, which was his alma mater.”

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