George O. Wood, the former general superintendent of the Assemblies of God passed away Wednesday after battling cancer for almost five months.
He was 80.
The General Council of the Assemblies of God announced Wood's death. He had cancer of the esophagus, and he tried to fight it with chemotherapy and clinical trial drug treatments at Siteman Care Center in St. Louis. But the cancer had spread to his liver and vertebrae.
The denomination's former leader's condition worsened this week when he contracted non-COVID pneumonia. His family was with him when he died.
Wood was the fourth longest-serving leader out of the 13 general superintendents of the 107-year-old Missouri-based U.S. Assemblies of God, AG News reported.
Wood had resigned from his office in 2017 at the age of 75 after serving for 10 years. He was the first general superintendent to have been a missionary kid, the first to graduate from the AG's Evangel University, and the first with an earned doctorate.
During Wood's tenure, the Assemblies of God in the U.S. 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 also rose to an all-time high of 13,023, an increase from 12,362 in 2007, according to AG News.
Wood's successor Doug Clay considered him a mentor and a friend.
"George O. Wood's legacy is that of being a man of the Word," Clay said. "He had tremendous intellect, but never depended on that at the expense of being led by the Spirit."
Clay called Wood a bridge builder and Pentecostal statesman, well respected by Christian leaders of various denominations, as well as by AG leaders throughout the world.
Wood leaves behind Jewell, his wife of 56 years, and their two children — son George Paul Wood and daughter Evangeline Hope Zorehkey.
He penned a number of books, including Roadtrip Leadership, Living in the Spirit, A Psalm in Your Heart, Fearless, Living Fully, and The Successful Life. In addition, several of the sermons he preached are available at http://georgeowood.com/.
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