End of an Era: Rick Warren Preaches Final Sermon at Saddleback Church

Pastor Rick Warren would walk to the light wood-colored pulpit Aug. 28 to preach his last sermon as Saddleback Church’s senior pastor, a position he has held for over four decades.

“Have I told you lately that I love you?” Warren said at the beginning of the sermon.

“As you know by now today is my last message to you as your senior pastor for 43 years and it has been my message to love you, pray for you, to serve you, encourage you, to be at the bedsides, to be at the gravesides, to be in counseling when you are getting through a tough patch in your life, and to teach you,” he said.

Warren founded Saddleback Church over four decades ago after launching it on Easter Sunday 1980, with a crowd of about 50 people in a rented space at the Laguna Hills High School in California, just one year after graduating from Baptist Theological Seminary of Fort Worth, Texas.

But this Sunday, Warren would re-preach that sermon to a congregation of more than 40,000 in physical and online attendance throughout the world, many of which were wearing Hawaiian-style shirts which he often wore during sermons.