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First West announces nominee for pastor

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - First West (First Baptist Church of West Monroe) announced on Sunday, April 27, the Pastor Search Committee’s recommendation of Michael Wood as the church’s new Lead Pastor. This announcement, which was met with a spontaneous standing ovation, hit squarely on the one-year anniversary of the date the committee began its search. Wood, 33, will preach in view of a call on Sunday, May 4, 2014, with the church members voting at the conclusion of the 9:30 and 11:00 services in West Monroe and the end of the 10:30 service at the First West Fairbanks multi-site location.

Unanimously recommended by First West’s Pastor Search Committee, which met weekly beginning in May 2013 to look for possible candidates, Michael is one of the youngest pastors in First West’s history to assume the Lead Pastor role and one of the youngest pastors of mega churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also the first Lead Pastor to be recommended from within the church staff since First West’s founding in 1920, having served as the church’s student pastor for the past five years.

“The search began by looking to the future of our church. The search was completed when we realized the future is NOW and the pastor God sent is already here,” declares Pastor Search Team chairman A. J. Burns of Michael’s recommendation.

The Search Committee praises the universal appeal of Michael’s preaching style, as well as his ability to relate well with all age groups.

Michael was ordained in 2005 at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and began to serve First West as Student Pastor in July 2009. Michael is married to gifted photographer Abby and they have two children, Gavin and Cannon.

Mark Fenn, Global Ministries Pastor and member of the Senior Leadership Team of First West, sees Michael as an “outstanding young leader who has served our church exceptionally well as student pastor.

“I appreciate his humility, devotion to his family, and dedication to advancing the Gospel. I see great days ahead for First West!” he adds.

One of Michael’s trusted mentors and close friend, evangelist Wade Morris of Wade Morris Ministries, cites Michael’s “long-term vision for leadership” and his commitment to lead a church “to reach the lost, equip the saints, and serve their community as well as the world.”

“To know that we get to sink our roots even deeper, share our lives with people that we absolutely love and, most importantly, to be a part of what God wants to do through His church ignite great humility, gratitude and passion,” Michael says in a statement.

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