Lewis Nominated Church of God General Overseer

Indianapolis, IN–After serving two years as Secretary General for the Church of God, Dr. Gary J. Lewis was elevated to the position of General Overseer on the first ballot cast by the International General Council on Tuesday morning at the Indiana Convention Center.

Thousands of delegates are gathered in the Midwest city for the 79th General Assembly of the Church of God taking place this week, July 8-12, 2024.

Following a time of communion and prayer led by current General Overseer Tim Hill, he called for the first order of business, that of nominating the next leader for the Church of God. The Nominating Ballot led to a second round of voting for the General Council, upon which Lewis was confirmed with the needed number of votes to nominate.

Lewis was elected to the Executive Committee two years ago at the 78th General Assembly in San Antonio. He came to the Assembly in 2022 as administrative bishop for South Georgia. He will serve out the remainder of this week as secretary general and upon confirmation by the International General Assembly on Friday will serve as the denomination’s top leader for the next four years.

Approaching the podium to thunderous applause, Lewis first thanked General Overseer Hill and his colleagues on the Executive Committee.
“The last two years have been such a wonderful experience of learning, relationships, and journey, so I am so thankful to them,” Lewis said. At times coming close to tears, Lewis thanked the Church of God, stating he was first generation Church of God, while his wife, Lori, has four generations of membership in the Church.

“Everything that I have is because of this great Church…I am overwhelmed with your expression of trust.”

Lewis testified of his salvation as a 13-year-old young person invited to a revival where he was saved.

“From that revival I stand here today…We stand today here at the 79th International General Assembly and the Harvest is right now…we will always be about the Harvest. Let everything we do here this week be for the Glory of God.”

Prior to serving as South Georgia AB, Lewis led the Department of Youth and Discipleship as assistant director and director at the International Offices in Cleveland, Tennessee.

With the tenures of three members of the five man International Executive Committee closing at this General Assembly, the General Council had the task before them to nominate three new leaders for the Church of God. Following the elevation of Secretary General Lewis to the office of General Overseer, the votes for first, second, and third assistant general overseer, as well as secretary general ensued.

The newly-selected Church of God Executive Committee (l-r): Thomas Madden, Tony Stewart, Gary Lewis, Wayne Dority, Mark Williams (click photo to enlarge)

Current Second Assistant General Overseer Tony Stewart was nominated to move up to First Assistant, placing him in a new role for the next four years.

“I prayed this morning that God’s will would prevail,” Stewart said as he took the podium to accept the nomination. “Dr. Gary Lewis, I believe it is God’s will for you to lead our Church in this next season. I pledge my support and to the other members of the Executive Committee that will join us.” He lauded the outgoing Committee members saying, “I have learned so much from these three men and your deposit in me will live on.”

Nominated to serve for the next four years as Second Assistant General Overseer was T. Wayne Dority, current administrative bishop of Tennessee.

“Thank you to this Council for the nomination to this role and place of service.” Dority told the story of attending the General Assembly 18 years ago in Indianapolis where he accepted his first administrative assignment after 22 years as local church pastor.

“I am deeply honored that you have placed your trust in me to serve in this capacity. I stand here with clear eyes and a full heart for what lies ahead for this great church…if confirmed by the General Assembly, I pledge my full devotion and energy.”

For the office of Third Assistant General Overseer, the General Council nominated former general overseer Mark L. Williams to the post.
“I am overwhelmed and inexpressibly honored to receive the nomination to serve the Church of God,” he said. “For the last ten years, Sandra Kay and I had the great and high honor pastoring one of the great churches of our movement, the North Cleveland Church of God. It is with a sense of deep pain that we will leave that assignment only because we have put ourselves completely in the hands of God to ask for his perfect plan and will….may we all commit ourselves with honor, with humility and with holiness to communicate the full Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Spirit and power of Pentecost!”

Before adjournment of the morning session the General Council completed nominations of the Executive Committee with the selection of Thomas Madden to the office of secretary general. Madden is the current administrative bishop for the region of North Georgia.

“When I told the Lord I would preach, I never intended to be here,” Madden said. “I want to thank the Lord for directing my steps. The call of God on my life has always been the next generation. I stand here today with that same burden for our sons and daughters.”

If confirmed by the General Assembly on Friday, the five men nominated on Tuesday will all be in office for the next four years signifying the opportunity for an unbroken and unified tenure of executive leadership for the Church of God until 2028.

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