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89-Year-Old Chuck Swindoll 'Not Retiring' but Changing Roles at His Texas Church

Michael Foust | Crosswalk Headlines Contributor | Updated: Apr 12, 2024
89-Year-Old Chuck Swindoll 'Not Retiring' but Changing Roles at His Texas Church

89-Year-Old Chuck Swindoll 'Not Retiring' but Changing Roles at His Texas Church

Chuck Swindoll is taking a new role at the Texas church he founded, but he’s not retiring.

The popular radio personality is stepping down as senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, and will take the role of founding pastor, the congregation announced in a statement this week. Jonathan Murphy, professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, will join the staff as senior pastor and will take “full responsibility for all of Stonebriar’s ministries and operations,” the statement said. Swindoll will serve as the primary pulpit minister “according to his desires.”

Swindoll, 89, is not retiring, the church said. He has mentored Murphy for several years.

Swindoll’s voice is heard around the world daily on his Insight for Living broadcast. He founded Stonebriar in 1998 after serving as pastor of First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, Calif., from 1971 to 1994. He also served as president and then chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary.

“We believe the Lord has gone before us in this decision from the beginning,” the church statement said. “Two years ago, as some of us elders gathered to pray, we talked about considering Jonathan as a candidate for the future role of Senior Pastor. When we approached Pastor Chuck with the idea at that time, we were happy to find out that he had already been mentoring Jonathan for the past several years, and he excitedly agreed that Jonathan would be a great fit for the position.

“We then extended a letter of intent to Jonathan, and he gladly set his expectations to become our Senior Pastor in the future. In March of 2024, after prayerful consideration, Pastor Chuck and the entire elder team unanimously decided that now is the time for Jonathan to step into his new role.”

The church also released a video of the two men discussing their mentoring relationship.

God’s “hand is involved in this next step,” Murphy said.

Their unique relationship, Swindoll said, “is very rare.”

“I’ve never once felt” competition, Swindoll said.

“We’re serving the same Lord,” Swindoll said.

Murphy was born in Northern Ireland and was raised in the Canary Islands. He has two degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Image credit: Stonebriar Community Church website / stonebriar.org


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.



89-Year-Old Chuck Swindoll 'Not Retiring' but Changing Roles at His Texas Church