When we first came to California to plant a church more than 13 years ago, we were blown away by the privilege God gave us to do this with several close friends.
We all knew that God had called us here to plant a church where everyone, regardless of their beliefs or background, would feel accepted and welcomed. Where people would encounter the life-changing love of Jesus. Where people would say YES to Jesus and passionately follow Him.
More than a decade later, our mission and vision to echo God’s love across the Bay Area has not changed, and neither has our God. It has truly been the greatest privilege of our lives to be able to be a part of this movement led by the Spirit of God in the Bay Area.
One of our core values at Echo is that we lead with open hands. And that means no matter how much we love something – we know that at the end of the day, it’s all God’s. He is the master, and we are His stewards. He knows what is best for His Kingdom purposes, and He is also the one who directs our steps. And for the past several months, we have been praying about what we sensed was an invitation God.
For decades, Pastor Rick and Kay Warren of Saddleback Church in Orange County have been our ministry mentors – and much of their work through their Purpose Driven Church model has been critical for helping us start Echo.Church. We’ve been so blessed by their friendship, and they’re now transitioning into retirement. After months of prayer and seeking counsel from others – we believe that God has called us together to step into serving at Saddleback Church. I, Andy, will be their new Senior Pastor. I, Stacie, will serve alongside Andy as a Teaching Pastor.
Through this next season, our Board of Overseers and Board of Trustees will be discerning the heart of God regarding the future leadership of Echo.
During this time, we’re grateful that God has already provided incredible leadership on our team. We are happy to share that Pastor Filipe Santos will be serving as our Acting Lead Pastor until such time that a long-term solution has been determined for the Lead Pastor role of Echo. Having been close friends for close to 25 years, we could not have more trust in Filipe’s character, values, integrity, and ability to lead and navigate Echo through this next season.
Below you’ll find more details, next steps, frequently asked questions, and resources our team has put together to help you during this time – especially as we know that any change, especially leadership transitions, can be difficult to navigate.
But we know that although the future will look different, our God and His faithfulness in and through Echo will always remain the same.
Andy & Stacie