Gary Carruthers
Pastor of Congregational Care
Hometown: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, grew up in a little town near the beaches of Delaware, went to college in South Carolina, and after graduating, entered the US Air Force. For the next 25 years I traveled around the country and the globe never staying in one location longer than three years until I retired and planted “roots” in the Tampa area in 2011.
Family Info: I am married to Lori; and father to Sarah and Daniel, who live with their mother in Georgia. Lori has family here in the local area and in Southern Ohio. My mom and sister live in South Carolina.
When did you join the staff of Aldersgate? I joined the staff of Aldersgate in the fall of 2016.
What did you do before joining Aldersgate? Immediately prior to joining the staff, I was on the staff at another nearby church (Anona UMC), also in a part-time Congregational Care role. When I joined Aldersgate I was also serving as a substitute teacher for a local K-8 charter school, which I still do. Before answering the call to ministry, I was a military officer in the United States Air Force.
What do you do for fun? I am an avid sports fan, following whatever is in season, but particularly enjoy college football. As a graduate of the University of South Carolina a song immediately comes to mind — “Let’s give a cheer, Carolina is here, the Fighting Gamecocks all the way!” Lori is an Ohio State Buckeye, which is good since I grew up a fan of the Scarlet and Grey.  As for pro sports, I have been a fan of the Cleveland Browns since before I knew what a football was. I am also baseball fan, but with all my moving around, my allegiance would align with wherever I was living. Thus today I am a loud Tampa Bay Rays fan, but I will also pull for the Indians, Braves and Orioles when they aren’t playing the Rays. I enjoy biking on the Pinellas trail, and have been known to swing a golf club and hit a volleyball. You also might find me walking on the beach at sunrise or sunset.
Favorite books? My home library is over flowing with books on leadership and military history, and I still have a collection of “the greatest literary classics” but they haven’t been opened in a while. I enjoyed Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum novels when I was growing up. My church library is what you would expect of a pastor and seminary student: multiple translations of the Bible, many bible commentaries, and numerous volume’s on the various “…ologies.” I especially enjoy the insights of Adam Hamilton and Steve Harper, as well as John Maxwell.
Who has influenced you the most in ministry/life? The obvious answer is Jesus Christ. There have been so many family members and teachers who invested in me that any attempt at names/relationships would unfairly leave someone out. Several friends that require mentioning include A. Wayne Burton (tennis instructor), Charles Mitchell (middle school Sunday School teacher), Vina Lee Williams (high school Sunday school teacher), Linda and David Mitchell (Youth Fellowship leaders), and three pastors that helped me understand my vocational calling – Dan Johnson, Cy Rogers and Chaplain (Col) Gerry “Padre” Hogue.