Garrison Shifts Gears
ORLANDO, Florida — Delegates at the biennial General Council in Orlando paid tribute Aug. 3 to retiring Assemblies of God Assistant Superintendent L. Alton Garrison by making him an honorary general presbyter. His term of office ends Oct. 1, when he will be succeeded by current General Treasurer Rick W. DuBose.
Garrison, 72, has been AG assistant general superintendent since 2007. Prior to that, he served for two years as director of U.S. Missions, four years as superintendent of the Arkansas District, and 15 years as pastor of First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
In his last four-year term, Garrison has provided increased focus on supporting plateaued or declining congregations as director of the Acts 2 Journey. Under the initiative, sponsored by AGTrust, church leaders gather for four two-day sessions over a year in an effort to learn how to better impact their community.
Although he is retiring as assistant general superintendent, Garrison will continue to lead Acts 2 Journey in an effort to revitalize congregations. The motif is based on five overlapping circles. Worship is the centerpiece that connects the rest, which are labeled connect, grow, serve, and go.
After he gave his biennial assistant general superintendent’s report at the Aug. 2 meeting, delegates gave Garrison a lengthy standing ovation. Garrison characterized his departure as bittersweet, having to leave dedicated colleagues at the national office. But he indicated he needs to devote himself to full-time ministry of the Acts 2 Journey. Cohorts have been conducted in 40 AG districts and networks.
“The ministry of Acts 2 has grown in many forms from its first implementation at First Assembly in North Little Rock, to now becoming a worldwide ministry model,” said AG General Superintendent Doug Clay. “Acts 2 has trained and resourced nearly 700 leaders worldwide who are capable of embedding the DNA of Acts 2:42-46 to create a healthy church in every community.”
A resolution approved by delegates cited Garrison has being an “incredible blessing” who has “impacted the worldwide Fellowship of the Assemblies of God.” The resolution states that “he served the Arkansas District Council and the General Council with integrity, loyalty, hard work, and diligence.”
“I have been blessed in serving alongside Alton for 11 years,” said Clay, who served as general treasurer before his election as superintendent in 2017. “Through that time I’ve been able to personally witness Alton’s integrity, work ethic, and genuine love for people.”
Garrison, author of A Spirit-Empowered Church, also served a three-year term as chairperson of the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America. His wife, Johanna, authored the book Tangled Destinies about her family’s hardships through the Nazi holocaust.