Gary's family goes back 5 generations in Elkhart County.  Elkhart Valley COB was his birth congregation.  He is married to Pat, and they have four children.

During the 1980s he was involved in urban ministry, church planting (Chicago and Goshen), church planting oversight, and seminary instruction (AMBS, Elkhart).  Since 1990, he has focused on congregations in transition through parish ministry, consultation and leadership development.  Eighteen transitional assignments in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania have included rural, small town, suburban, small city and inner-city contexts.  He is co-founder of Transitional Ministry Training, for pastors and judicatory personnel.