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Assemblies of God Official Steps Down, Citing Misconduct

Denomination's CEO says John M. Palmer confessed to 'an inappropriate interaction with a woman that did not involve any physical intimacy.'

The general secretary of the Assemblies of God has resigned after admitting to ethical misconduct, the denomination announced February 13.

The resignation of John M. Palmer, who served in the position since November 2007, was immediate.

General Superintendent George O. Wood, the denomination's chief executive officer, said Palmer "confessed to a one-time incident that involved ethical misconduct and an inappropriate interaction with a woman that did not involve any physical intimacy," reported the church's News and Information Service.

The general secretary maintains information about the denomination's ministers and churches, oversees the chartering of churches and credentialing of ministers and keeps official statistics about the Pentecostal religious organization based in Springfield, Mo.

In a statement, Wood said he was "deeply saddened" about "this failure" and asked for prayers for Palmer and his family.

"John has had a sterling record in the Assemblies of God as a church planter, pastor, and national leader," said Wood. "This failure on his part is an aberration from a lifetime of faithful service to the Lord, his family and our fellowship."

Wood expressed hopes that, after a "period of rehabilitation yet to be determined," Palmer would be able to return to ministry.

The executive presbyters, who serve as the board of directors for the denomination, are expected to appoint an interim replacement for Palmer to serve until the General Council, the major biennial meeting of the Assemblies of God, in August.

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