In yet another big church leadership announcement, head pastors Eric and Candace Johnson are officially stepping down from their senior leadership roles at megachurch Bethel in California.
Eric is the son of Bill Johnson, figurehead of the Bethel churches and its Christian music label.
The announcement has come after being “prayerfully considered and thought through for several months,” according to an official media release.
Eric and Candace Johnson shared their heart behind the decision in an interview played during their weekly online service.
While the exact reason for their resignation was not discussed, they were very clear in their intention to remain close to Bethel in the coming years.
“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.”
The video interview was emotional and showcased the “very challenging faith journey” the Johnsons have been navigating in this decision.
Their departure is the latest in a wave of similar announcements from high-profile Pentecostal churches, following Carl Lentz being fired from Hillsong NYC and Phil Pringle stepping down from leadership of C3 SYD.
In an apparent nod to Lentz’s dismissal, Bethel Church made it very clear what the Johnson resignation was NOT about. “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.”
Bethel senior leaders Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson were exceedingly grateful for the decade of full-time ministry they have invested, calling their impact “world class”.
While Eric and Candace Johnson will step down in February of 2021, they don’t yet know where or what they will move onto. “We don’t quite know where we are going yet … once our sail goes up on the mast, it will catch the wind and we will know where to go.”