Pastor Gary Hay was called into the ministry at a young age, serving with ministries in California and Arizona during the Jesus Movement. He eventually became the managing partner in an advertising firm in Virginia, serving members such as CBN, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, Liberty University, four other Christian universities and more than 170 churches nationwide.
He was the senior associate pastor at Valley Cathedral in Phoenix, an interdenominational church with more than 6,000 members. He later founded Hope Church in his hometown of Springfield, MO, where he served as lead pastor for 26 years.
As a young adult, Gary was called into ministry during the Jesus Movement and initially served with ministries in California and Arizona. As college life gave way to business, Gary found employment with United Air Lines as well as United Parcel Service for several years. Subsequently, he became the managing partner in an Advertising firm in Virginia Beach, Virginia serving clients such as CBN, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, Liberty University, four other Christian Universities, over 170 churches around the country as well as regional businesses around the Tidewater area.
Happy, but increasingly hungry to return to full-time ministry, he, Judi and their infant daughter made the move back to Phoenix. The next eight and a half years as Senior Associate Pastor at Valley Cathedral, an interdenominational church of over 6,000, were an absolute joy and dream come true.
In 1993 Gary’s Senior Pastor and mentor was about to name Him as his successor. But, even as events were moving that direction, the Lord with unquestionable clarity, directed Gary and Judi to plant a church in Gary’s hometown of Springfield, Missouri. It was an absolutely heart-rending decision to make. In December, with the help of four committed families, Hope Church was born. In spite of its inauspicious beginnings, the church has prospered and grown into one of the leading churches in the region. After 26 years at the helm, Gary recently transitioned out of his long-held role as Lead Pastor and still serves with the church as needed while continuing to travel nationally and internationally ministering and consulting.
Seeing how a successful transition can fuel amazing growth has been an unexpected joy. That story and the process that is leading the church into the next generation is something Gary loves to share with church leadership wherever he goes.
Gary and Judi have been married for 38 years and have
two adult children, Rebekah and Nathan and one amazing grandson, Brayden.
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