Rick Warren’s Successor Cleared of Abusive Leadership Allegations

Rick Warren’s Successor Cleared of Abusive Leadership Allegations

-

The elders at Saddleback Church, pastored by Rick Warren, announced that an investigation into their new pastor found that he was not guilty of abusive leadership practices at his former church.

San Francisco-area pastor Andy Wood is scheduled to take the helm at Saddleback on September 12. After he was announced as the Purpose Driven Life author’s successor in June, allegations of abusive and coercive leadership emerged.

Wood planted Echo Church in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2008. The church then expanded to include four campuses with over 3,000 congregants. After it was announced that he would succeed Warren, former Echo Church assistant pastor Lori Adams-Brown tweeted, “When a pastor with many allegations of abuse against him from over more than a decade gets hired to be the pastor of one of the largest churches in America, and none of the survivors that you know were ever reached out to by the elder board that unanimously approved him…#sbc.”

When a pastor with many allegations of abuse against him from over more than a decade gets hired to be the pastor of one of the largest churches in America, and none of the survivors that you know were ever reached out to by the elder board that unanimously approved him… #sbc

— Lori Adams-Brown (@loriadbr) June 3, 2022

After the accusation, the Vanderbloemen Group, which conducted the background checks on Andy Wood for Saddleback, did a follow-up review. They viewed videos, emails, text records, interviews with people at Echo Church and one additional interview. Wood told Religion News Service that he “would be happy for any current or former staff members to share their working experience at Echo with Vanderbloemen as a part of their investigation.”

However, Adams-Brown and her husband Jason, who also served on Echo’s Strategic Leadership Team, claim that as many as 15-20 former Echo Church staff members and volunteers were pushed out or resigned and signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which keep them from talking to anyone investigating the allegations, according to The Roys Report.

A few days later, Adams-Brown tweeted, “NDAs have no place in the church. If a pastor claims there have been no allegations of abuse against him, but he has gotten many former staff to sign NDAs (even if he gaslit staff by not calling them NDAs), this is cause for deep investigation into all former employees with care.”

NDAs have no place in the church. If a pastor claims there have been no allegations of abuse against him, but he has gotten many former staff to sign NDAs (even if he gaslit staff by not calling them NDAs), this is cause for deep investigation into all former employees with care

— Lori Adams-Brown (@loriadbr) June 4, 2022

Echo Church expanded its number of campuses by merging with smaller congregations that then took on Echo Church’s name and leadership. Lance Hough, who was on the leadership team at Crossroads Church when it merged with Echo, eventually left the church’s Fremont campus because of an “unhealthy culture.”

Hough told Christianity Today that the merger was portrayed as “a marriage merger” where “two growing churches realign with each other under a unified vision and new leadership.” Instead, Hough claims that “as soon as our organization started to functionally merge, they started systematically killing off everything that made our church unique.” He said Wood dismissed any questioning of his method of leadership.

Saddleback knew of the allegations during its discussions with Wood and believed his version of events. The church said they reached out to a former staff member at Echo Church “and have yet to receive communication back.” The elders released the letter to the church this week because “we felt it was important that you hear the facts on this from us now, rather than in the news or on social media.”

Related:

Rick Warren’s Successor at Saddleback Named: ‘It Is Time For Us to Pass the Torch’

Saddleback Church Stands Behind Rick Warren’s Successor following Allegation of Leadership Issues

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/B-C-Designs


Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”

Read More

Latest news

Processing a Tragedy in Monterey Park

The news that a mass shooting had taken place at a ballroom-dance studio in the Los Angeles County city...

EcoPoxy Products Are Now Available Online for Sale

Emigrant, MT, 27th January 2023, ZEXPRWIRE, All American Woodworks is thrilled to announce that they have updated their inventory...

Ainnova Tech announces Dr. Maziar Lalezary, M.D. as Medical advisor and member of Medical Board

Renowned Ophthalmologist joins to the team to accelerate development of early detection solutions with AI for retinal imaging Houston, Texas,...

Top-5 hospitality trends to look out for in 2023

Mumbai, India, 27th January 2023, ZEXPRWIRE, The hospitality sector was affected by Covid 19 in a way similar to...
- Advertisement -spot_img

Dr. Safi Chand, the owner of New Market Animal Hospital Launched Pet Healthcare Library

New Market, Maryland, 27th January 2023, ZEXPRWIRE, Dr. Safi Chand is a veterinarian and the owner of New Market Animal...

Nashville Religion Communicators to Tour Nashville Public Radio

The Nashville Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) meets monthly to talk about topics of interest and hear...

Must read

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you