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Rick Warren Saddleback church.JPG 1.JPG
Rick Warren Saddleback church.JPG
USA News

Pastor Rick Warren final service mimics first preach in 1980

by Alex Collett

Saddleback Church's pastor Rick Warren has delivered his final service, showing an uncanny likeness to the first sermon he gave 42 years ago.

The author first delivered the service on the 30th March 1980 - titled "The Beginning of a Miracle" - in a theatre at a high school in Laguna Hills. 

He shared the message from a pupit carved by one of his earliest congregants, of which only a handful remain. 

Speaking on Sunday 28th August 2022 - the date of his final service -  he said: "It's been my privilege to love you, to love you, to pray for you, to serve you, to encourage you, to be at the bedsides, to be at the gravesides, to be at the counselling when you're going through a rough patch, and to teach you."

Warren announced his retirement in June 2021, this was a decision partly prompted by his declining health.

He had also made a promise to the dozens of early congregants he'd managed during the first year of the church in 1980, in which he would give the new church 40 years of his life.

Now 68 years old, Warren said he and his wife, Kay, had originally planned to retire in 2020, but had an "uneasy feeling it still wasn't the right time to resign."

On Sunday, Warren went back to the original message he offered.

"Begin with the end in mind, that means being purpose driven."

Warren said he would take on a less "visible position as founding pastor" and would continue to be involved with Saddleback Church.

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