After 27 years at the helm of the evangelistic Power Team ministry, founder John Jacobs announced his retirement in May.
The 43-year-old attributed the move to the pressure of leading a large ministry, coupled with several personal "hits" in the last three years, including a divorce and hasty remarriage that was later annulled, the death of his parents and financial hardship brought on after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
A statement from The Power Team said it was time for Jacobs "to go on with his own life, separated from this ministry, so he can focus on identifying, clarifying, and letting the Lord refresh and purify him in several key areas."
Jacobs said he had not been asked to retire. "But I felt like God wanted me to go deeper," he said. "I believe it was my timing for my life to build structure, to go deeper, to finish some emotional healing, some wounds from friends."
Jacobs said he will continue doing feats of strength and speaking in churches. He is scheduled to be in several hundred schools next year, he said, and is working on a project that will target some of the nation's most troubled schools.
Based in Dallas, The Power Team hosts events in churches, prisons and schools across the country and abroad, and has seen thousands come to Christ.
But after Jacobs' divorce in 2000 from his wife of 16 years, several members left to form a similar group called Team Impact. Jacobs was accused of assaulting one of its members, Jeff Audas, in May 2000, but the misdemeanor charge was dropped. In August 2002, Jacobs filed for personal and ministry bankruptcy, leading to a reorganization of the Power Team and the appointment of a trustee who oversees the group's finances.
Jacobs' personal bankruptcy was reversed in May after a bankruptcy court determined that he "exhibited a reckless disregard for the truth" in disclosing his financial condition.
In its May 14 statement, The Power Team said it had assembled an apostolic board of spiritual leaders as well as a performance board to manage day-to-day operations. They said the changes would "insure the future success of this ministry."
Jacobs plans to remarry this summer. He said he is living in an apartment, driving a Ford Taurus and "really enjoying living the simple life." He asked that Christians pray for him "and to pull for me spiritually. ... After being with The Power Team for 27 years, it has definitely taken a toll. ... I'd appreciate, really, people's prayers."
Adrienne S. Gaines