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Jim Garlow, the activist preacher known for opposing same-sex marriage and praying with President Trump, is stepping down as senior pastor of his megachurch in Rancho San Diego.

Garlow, 71, recently announced that he would leave Skyline Church, his perch since 1995, in mid-November.

On Facebook, he said his successor would be Jeremy H. McGarity, 47, “who pastors a nearby thriving church, SevenSanDiego Church.”

Christian Post reported Tuesday that Garlow now aims to minister to lawmakers, ambassadors and federal government employees, looking to expand a ministry he helped found called Well Versed Nations.

Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church, speaks about his love of Israel and Jerusalem
Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church, tells his love for Israel and Jerusalem, and about his Washington ministry. Image via

“Well Versed” also is the title of his 2016 book, which he circulates to Republican lawmakers. This month, he published “This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your Family and, Our Country,” co-authored with David Barton.

“The ministry, which has existed in some capacity through holding weekly Bible studies for members of Congress for the past four years, has been expanded in recent months to include Bible studies for employees of the United Nations in New York City and employees of a federal agency in Washington, D.C.,” said Christian Post.

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota heads a United Nations ministry launched by Skyline in August 2017.

At the time, Bachmann was quoted as saying the U.N. was “a man’s attempt at a one-world order that only brings about chaos, confusion, deception, delusion, pain. And that’s where, rather than cursing the darkness, Skyline Church is about to light a candle.”

For his part, Garlow told Christian Post: “We know that the ways of God apply to every aspect of culture, including the governmental. We don’t buy into the notion that biblical principles must be kept from the governmental sphere.”

Garlow says Well Versed Nations began a monthly Bible study in late August at an unnamed federal agency.

“Garlow explained that his ministry has also received approval to hold Bible studies once per month in a second federal agency,” Christian Post said. “He added that Well Versed Nations is also looking to get permission to launch another Bible study in a third federal agency.”

Garlow told the evangelical site: “There you have career bureaucrats who are lifelong and not elected officials and we want to see the truth of God’s word applied in life there.”

Charisma News reported Sept. 2 that Garlow and his wife, Rosemary, would continue to live most of the time in San Diego — but have “second homes” in New York City, Washington and Jerusalem.

“I cannot tell you how difficult it is to leave pastoral ministry to the people who I so love. They are wonderful! I will miss them so much,” Garlow was quoted as saying.

In 2008, Garlow campaigned for Proposition 8 in California, the voter-approved constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. It ultimately was voided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

He and other clergy members have prayed with Trump in the White House, most recently last month at a dinner attended by as many as 100 evangelical leaders and their spouses.

On the eve of the November 2016 election, Garlow told a radio show that any Christian who has prayed and decided that they cannot vote for Trump needs to “pray some more.”

In his Facebook post Wednesday, Garlow introduced McGarity as the incoming senior pastor, the church’s fourth since its Lemon Grove founding in 1954 as Skyline Wesleyan Church.

“Before pastoring and completing many academic degrees, Jeremy was [a] professional athlete, a baseball pitcher,” Garlow wrote. “In fact, he still runs marathons. Jeremy is a recognized church growth specialist and consultant.”

Skyline Church pastor James Garlow's book "Well Versed" was handed out to RNC members.
Skyline Church pastor James Garlow’s book “Well Versed” was handed out to Republican National Committee members meeting in San Diego in 2017. Photo by Ken Stone

Born in La Mesa, McGarity attended El Capitan High School in Lakeside and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1989.

“He spent his first five seasons in the Cardinals system, topping out in A ball,” said “He began as a starting pitcher, but was moved to the bullpen in 1993, starting only seven of the 34 games he appeared in that season.”

McGarity leads Seven Church in Lakeside, which he originally founded in 2002 as High Desert Church in Victorville.

He graduated with honors from San Diego Christian College in 1999, according to his church biography, and went on to earn two master’s degrees from Haggard Graduate School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University.

In 2016, he earned a doctorate in church growth and multiplication from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in Los Angeles, the bio added.

“His passion is to give people the Word of God in easy to understand language,” the bio concluded. “He likes to say he’ll give you something on Sunday you can use on Monday.”