On June 27, 2015, Charles Groce, Chief Executive Officer of the Church of God International (CGI) and Chairman of the CGI Board of Directors, announced his retirement. Over his 32 years of service in the CGI, Mr. Groce has served in a variety of capacities. Vice Chairman Vance Stinson was confirmed by the Board of Directors as Chairman of the Board. Also, Jeff Reed will be pastor of the Tyler congregation.
Mr. Groce’s term on the Board was up for renewal, and he asked the Board not to renew that term. The Board honored his request and accepted his retirement. Mr. Stinson and others acknowledge that Mr. Groce has been talking about retiring for some time.
Mr. Groce was asked if personal illness was a part of his decision. He assured everyone that he is in good health, adding that after 44 years of serving in the ministry, it was “just time to retire.” All were assured that there is no pending personal scandal, and that he was not forced out of office.
Mr. Groce stated he wanted to retire while CGI is in good shape—leaving the ministry in a good position. While acknowledging there is still need for improvement in CGI, he said that the membership and income are up at this time. Programs are expanding, and new people are being baptized.
Though we are saddened by this announcement, Charles illustrates a good example of retiring from his responsibilities with integrity and character. His service will be greatly missed.
We will always be grateful for Mr. Groce’s emphasis on servant leadership and the core values set forth in Matthew 5, 6, and 7—the Sermon on the Mount.
Mr. Groce said he will continue to attend the CGI congregation in Tyler as a member who continues to support the mission of CGI.
For more information, contact Jeff Reed at 903/939-2929 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Update Friday, July 3, 2015
Clarification on my retirement announcement:
First of all, let me thank everyone who has called or emailed about my retirement from the ministry. The depth of concern sensed in what was conveyed has been reassuring, if not somewhat unexpected. Thank you for the love, concern, and congratulations.
Among the congratulations there has been an underlying concern about whether or not I will remain in the ministry. I want to clear up any lingering questions along those lines. Here is an email I’ve received from a fellow minister that speaks to this issue. He wrote, “The notice said that you would be a member in Tyler in retirement. I am hoping that your retirement does not mean that you will not be an elder any longer. While I completely understand it’s time to step back and do less and let others pick up the gauntlet, your qualifications as an elder are biblical and, as long as you are in good standing (which I know you are), you are every bit an elder now, as you were when you were employed.”
If there are others who have this concern or are asking similar questions, you can pass along this answer provided in my response to his email.
I wrote, “As I expected might happen, our church family—our ministry and members—have expressed their congratulations and encouragement. (Frankly, it’s all been a little overwhelming.) What I did not expect was the number of people who were concerned with my ongoing service as a minister—hoping I would remain active in the ministry. (I have to admit that I may have been a little naïve about how the announcement would be perceived.)
Those of us who strive to lead as servant-leaders know how important it is to welcome feedback (whether good or bad) and to work at preparing/mentoring someone to take over their responsibilities. I want you to know I’ve been listening to those who have offered their feedback, men and women, who have the best interests of the church at heart… as represented in your email. This thoughtfulness is the reason for this clarification.
Please be assured that retiring from the ministry means I will become less active in the expectations inherit in ministering. Being an ‘inactive’ minister means I will not be traveling as much, nor speaking as often, or pastoring our local congregation. It does mean that I will be in fellowship and intend to continue serving those who will turn to me for anointing and counseling and to respond to the leadership of the Church however my particular gifts may be helpful.
Following the initial ‘press release’ (last Monday), the Board of Directors has asked me to reconsider serving on the Board (but not as Chairman) and to serve on a recently appointed Executive Committee which will be a resource for Vance … helping him when needed, to respond to the day-to-day decisions that come with our office operations and fiduciary allocations. I have said ‘yes’ to both invitations and look forward to serving alongside those involved. There may be some remaining details to be considered (or new responsibilities added), but for now and into the foreseeable future these opportunities represent the view I have of remaining involved in the home office.
Please accept my gratitude for the thoughts you’ve offered. Your perceptions have been invaluable, moving me to offer this additional clarification. This means you may be seeing or hearing from me more than was perceived or expressed in the earlier announcement. And for now, ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way.’”
Charles E. Groce