Pastor Garry Wallace
I was raised in Texas in a strong Christian home with loving parents. I accepted the Lord at an early age and as a teenager, felt the call to ministry. As I entered Bible College, I had a strong drawing to Teen Challenge. I went out on weekends with Teen Challenge workers to witness and even worked as a Teen Challenge counselor my first summer of college. After a number of years in traditional church work, the Lord led my family and me to Dallas, Texas to help reopen a men's center. I knew I had found my true calling and have always enjoyed this ministry. I worked there for almost 25 years. During this time, I pastored a church for 11 years, but continued to work on a part time basis with Teen Challenge.
In 2000, my wife of 23 years died unexpectedly after a very short illness. My world changed. Nothing had ever prepared me for losing a loving wife. I was now a single parent with a 12-year old daughter to raise. After the initial shock, I found that the only way I could survive was to hold on to the Lord like never before. It was a real time of testing my faith. But God is faithful and carried me through, teaching me many lessons about life and faith along the way. It changed my ministry; giving me much more compassion for the hurting. I learned that what we think is important in life isn't as important as life itself. I can truly say I love the Lord in a way I never did before.
In 2003, the Lord brought Rachel into my life. The Lord had spoken clearly to us that his intention was more than just for us to find happiness with each other, but to minister to broken people. After marriage, we pastored the church in Dallas, Texas for 3 years. During this time, Rachel began volunteering with Teen Challenge. We then accepted a full time position at Teen Challenge in Texas. This was the work we were called to do. We felt led to resign in 2009 and began seeking the Lord for direction. We knew he wouldn't ask us to leave unless he had another place for us to go. During a time of prayer for direction, we received a call that the position in Portland was open and we knew this is where he wanted us. We couldn't be happier as we minister to the men in our program and look for opportunities to reach outside our walls to the multitudes in the city in need of a savior.