Pastor Ford is originally from Farmington, Illinois where he
graduated from High School in 1968. During his formative
years his family was involved in the United Methodist
Church, where both his parents served as Sunday School
teachers. He was confirmed in 1961. Gary was active in
Scouting, receiving the
"God & Country" award and attaining the rank of Star
Scout. During High School he played football, participated in
student government, and was captain of the Scholastic Bowl
team.

He Attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington,
graduating in 1972 with a B.A. in English. Gary and the
former Claire Wirth (B.A. Elementary Education '72) were
married in May 1972 one week prior to graduation. His
seminary work was undertaken at Perkins School of
Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas,
receiving the Master's of Theology degree in '76. During
graduate school Rev. Ford served as an Intern/Student
associate for two years at First United Methodist Church,
Mesquite, TX.
Reverend Ford was ordained Deacon in '73 and Elder in '77,  and has served in the Illinois Great
Rivers Conference (and the former Central Illinois Conference) , since 1976 . His first
appointment was Associate  Pastor at Douglas Ave. UMC, Springfield, (3 years). After which he
served Aroma Park UMC (7 years), Bloomington Park UMC (5  years) Dwight UMC (6 years),
Champaign Faith
(5 years). He came to Pekin Grace in July 2002.

Reverend Ford has served on a number of Conference Boards --COSROW, Evenglow Lodge
Board of Directors, Wesley Foundation at both ISU and the University of Illinois. He served nine
years on the conference Board of Ministry . He is a member of Rotary, and has served as
Spiritual Director for a number of Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis retreats.

He enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, theater, listening to music, and 'puttering around' in the
shop.
The Ford's have five children, one son (married), and four daughters.
Grace United Methodist Church
601 N 4th Street    
Pekin, IL  61554
Phone  309 347-7131
email:  graceumc@pekingrace.org