Former Assemblies of God leader George Wood dies aged 80

George Wood was general superintendent of the US Assemblies of God for 10 years.(Photo: Assemblies of God)

Former Assemblies of God (AG) general superintendent George Wood has died of cancer aged 80.

Wood was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the esophagus on August 30, 2021, and underwent chemotherapy and clinical drug trial treatments, but these were discontinued after he experienced "disastrous side effects", his denomination said. 

The AG said he took a turn for the worse this week after contracting non-covid pneumonia. He was surrounded by his family when he died on Wednesday.

Throughout his cancer battle, Wood remained upbeat and anchored by his faith, telling his Facebook followers in November, "If I am not healed, it certainly is not from a lack of faith either on my part or of all the people who are praying for me."

Wood served as general superintendent of the US Assemblies of God for 10 years before stepping down in 2017 at the age of 75. 

Under his tenure, the US denomination experienced consistent numerical growth, reaching 3.2 million members — a rise from 2.86 million a decade earlier. The number of US AG churches also rose to an all-time high of 13,023. 

He was succeeded by Doug Clay who called him "a man of the Word", a bridge builder and a Pentecostal statesman who was respected by Christian leaders of various denominations. 

"He had tremendous intellect, but never depended on that at the expense of being led by the Spirit," said Clay.

"He had a unique ability to open doors for young people, women, and ethnic minorities by providing them a meaningful seat at the table.

"That has been a major force behind our growth in each of those areas. His mentorship in my life was invaluable. Each leadership decision he made was always processed through Scripture.

"He made my love for the Bible even richer. His legal credentials gave him a unique perspective to address cultural issues with biblical clarity."

Wood is survived by his wife, Jewel, to whom he was married for 56 years, and their two children, son George Paul Wood, who is executive editor of the AG's ministry periodical, Influence, and daughter Evangeline Hope Zorehkey.