Foursquare Church Elects New President

The Foursquare Church, a Pentecostal denomination founded in 1927 by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, has named Glenn Burris Jr. as its new president.

Burris was elected Tuesday afternoon during the church's annual convention being held this week in Atlanta. He has served as the denomination's interim president since September after former President Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., unexpectedly decided not to seek a second term.

Photo courtesy of The Foursquare Church

The California-based International Church of the Foursquare Gospel has roughly 8.7 million members in more than 66,000 churches worldwide. There are almost 1,900 congregations and approximately 7,000 licensed ministers in the U.S.

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Before his election, Burris said the denomination was at a crossroads and needed "a culture shift."

"We need a reformation in the way we think and lead," Burris said.

To see future growth, he said Foursquare needed return to its core mission of reaching the lost, training new believers and multiplying healthy churches. He said the church also must recruit new leaders-possibly focusing on younger generations, and developing multicultural and women leadership-and partner with international Foursquare leaders to develop global strategies for evangelism, discipleship and church growth.

Burris ran against Dennis Easter, senior pastor of Portland Foursquare Church in Oregon. Easter prayed over Burris Tuesday and encouraged him to "be strong and courageous, for the Lord will be with you wherever you will go," according to convention reports.

A longtime Foursquare leader, Burris graduated from Mount Vernon Bible College in 1975 and served as a youth pastor before leading churches in Georgia and North Carolina.

He became supervisor of the 10-state Southeast District in 1992, serving in that role until 2002 when he became general supervisor of Foursquare, a vice-presidential position. He also served a brief term as president of LIFE Bible College East in Christiansburg, Va.

Burris is the denomination's sixth president. His five-year term begins in October.  He will address the convention Thursday at 7 p.m., Eastern. The service can be viewed online at foursquare.org/connectlive at no charge.

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