Assemblies of God leader to leave 2 years early

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | 2:00 p.m. CDT; updated 7:01 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

SPRINGFIELD — The head of the Assemblies of God church will step down two years early, ending 14 years at the helm of one the nation’s largest Pentecostal groups.

Thomas Trask, 71, will leave office in October, the Springfield-based church said Tuesday.

Nominations for a new leader will be taken next month at the church’s annual general council meeting in Indianapolis.

“As a result of seeking the Lord as to his will for my continuing to serve out the remaining two years of the present term, I have reached a decision to step down as general superintendent of the Assemblies of God,” Trask said in a statement. He was not available for further comment.

Assemblies of God spokeswoman Julene Turnage said Trask has been considering this move for some time.

Trask was part of a leadership team that has been in place since 1993, the year he became superintendent after five years as general treasurer.

James K. Bridges, who succeeded Trask as general treasurer and has been in that post since 1993, said Trask’s decision was a surprise but one that he respects.

Also elected in 1993 were Charles Crabtree as assistant general superintendent and George Wood as general secretary.

Earlier this year, Crabtree announced his intentions to retire this year at the end of his term.

Replacing Trask should not be difficult, said Bridges. The Assemblies of God provides several opportunities for leaders to emerge through district and regional structures, he said.

“We don’t feel we are in a leadership crisis,” Bridges said.

Most likely, the top position will be filled by someone on the 17-member executive presbytery, which includes the top officers and representatives elected from the district ranks. Trask was a member of the presbytery as general treasurer when he was elected.

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