After much prayer, discussion, input, and consideration, Eric and Candace Johnson decided to transition out of being the Senior Pastors and on the Senior Leadership Team of Bethel Church after nearly ten years of service in that role, and 18 years in leadership positions at Bethel. As of January 31, 2021, they have officially stepped down. Watch the video below to see their farewell celebration and read their statement regarding the transition from the initial announcement on November 22, 2020.
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Eric and Candace Johnson Resign as Senior Pastors of Bethel Church, Redding
Announced November 22, 2020, Formally Stepped Down January 31, 2021
Eric and Candace Johnson have served in leadership roles at Bethel Church in Redding, CA for the last 18 years, including serving as Senior Pastors since 2011. They said “yes” with forever in mind and for nearly 10 years, they invested strength and leadership into the role of helping to foster a vibrant church with a global impact. Our Senior Leadership Team, Board, staff, and church family have deep love, honor, and respect for these two dynamic leaders.
With much prayer and counsel, Eric and Candace have decided that this chapter of serving as Senior Pastors has drawn to a close, and on Sunday, November 22, 2020, they publicly announced their resignation. Their decision has been prayerfully considered and thought through for several months. They were not asked or pressured to resign. There was no moral failure, inciting incident, pandemic or political fatigue, theological difference, or issue of health or capacity involved. Rather, this is about courage, strength, and faith, as they have an inner sense that this role is no longer the right fit for them in this season of their lives.
“We are family, and we will always be a part of this movement. While this decision may feel odd and unexpected, there is a deep sense of peace. We are anchored in hope, and believe that the best is yet to come, both for us and for the future of Bethel,” say Eric and Candace.
While there is sadness in this transition, we are incredibly grateful that Eric and Candace will continue to serve through the end of January 2021, working closely with the rest of Bethel’s leadership team to create as smooth of a transition as possible for our Bethel Church family and staff. This will allow some time to connect with the church family on the other side of this announcement. They created and empowered an excellent Church Leadership Team who will continue to lead alongside the Senior Leadership Team.
At this time, Eric and Candace don’t know what is next for them. They are bravely trusting in God’s goodness as they finish one assignment and await the next. They have meaningful prophetic words that they are praying into, and we stand with them, knowing that they will continue to be leaders who bring the kingdom of God wherever they go. We look forward to them preaching at Bethel services and conferences on occasion in the months and years to come. We will celebrate Eric and Candace and show our appreciation for them in January 2021.
Over the years, their leadership has helped to set us up for success, building intentionally into our movement and staff. The Senior Leadership Team and church board will be providing an interim plan in the near future, but will take time with the Lord and one another concerning a long term strategy. God’s got this, and we trust Him. Together, we will navigate the unknowns of the future as we stay focused on God’s presence and place our confidence and trust in His goodness.
We love and support Eric and Candace in their faithfulness and obedience to follow the Lord. They are, in every way, family, and are trusted leaders in close relationship with this house. We invite you to join us in praying for God’s continued blessing on them in their next season.
“We know this was not an easy decision for Eric and Candace to make. And yet, know that as a Senior Leadership Team, we fully support them in their decision to resign as the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church here in Redding. And while there is sadness in this transition, we remain expectant and full of hope for this next season: for them and for us.”
Bill Johnson, Bethel Church Senior Leader
Watch Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Dann Farrelly, Eric Johnson, and Candace Johnson discuss Eric and Candace’s decision to step down as Senior Pastors.
Question and Answers:
How long did Eric and Candace Johnson serve at Bethel Church, Redding?
Eric and Candace were on staff for a total of 18 years. They have been serving as the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church, Redding since 2011. Eric and Candace were on staff for eight years in several different leadership positions prior to their role as Senior Pastors.
Was this a decision by the church board and leadership team for them to step down?
No, they were not asked or pressured to resign. This was a decision made by Eric and Candace themselves and has been something they have been processing with the Lord for some time. They are walking out their decision with the full support of the Bethel Senior Leadership Team.
Are there other reasons that Eric and Candace are leaving?
Eric and Candace’s decision was not made due to a moral failure, inciting incident, finances, pandemic or political fatigue, theological difference, issue of health or capacity. This has been a choice they have working through for some time. Rather, this is about courage, strength, and faith, as they have an inner sense that this role is no longer the right fit for them in this season of their lives.
Who is taking over now as Senior Pastors?
The Senior Leadership Team and church board will be providing an interim plan in the near future, but will take time with the Lord and one another concerning a long term strategy. Eric and Candace have established a wonderful Church Leadership team that is full of amazing leaders who will continue to serve alongside our Senior Leadership Team and many other capable leaders.
Will Eric and Candace still be on the Bethel Leadership Team?
No. Eric and Candace will be fully stepping down as both the Senior Pastors and from the Senior Leadership Team. We look forward to them preaching at Bethel services and conferences on occasion in the months and years to come.
Did the Coronavirus have any influence in this decision?
No. This was a decision they have been processing for some time and the complexity of overseeing a church in the midst of COVID-19 was not a factor in their decision-making process.
What is next for Eric and Candace?
They are waiting on their next assignment from the Lord. At the end of January 2021, they will take a few months to focus on what they feel is next, resting and seeking God, and believing that He will show them the way forward. In the meantime, they will continue to travel and speak in churches and conferences, do online courses that they provide, and serve churches and leaders in various capacities.
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