Gary & Chela Armstrong are from Indianapolis, Indiana, and have been married since 1994. They have three adult sons, Zach, and his wife Kenzie (New Braunfels, TX), Keaton, and his wife Ann (St. Louis, MO), and Garrett, and his girlfriend, Laura (Burleson). They also have eight furry family members, Pee-Wee and Dottie (Mini-horses), Doc and Wyatt (Mini-Nubian goats), Heidi and Sheamus (Dogs), and Pogo and Sniffles (Rabbits).
Gary became the senior pastor of Burleson Bible Church in November of 2021. He received a Bible Certificate from Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, New York, a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Appalachian Bible College, in Beckley, WV, a Masters in Biblical Studies from Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem, NC, and is working towards a Masters of Divinity through Grace School of Theology in the Woodlands, TX.
Gary has served in pastoral ministry since 1999 as a Church Planter, Associate Pastor, and Senior Pastor. He enjoys playing golf, watching NFL football (Go Colts!), and pretty much anything from the 80’s. Gary loves people and building relationships in life. His personal mission statement is:
“My desire is to grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ and use the gifts and abilities God has given me to help others do the same.”
If you have any questions or just want to reach out, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
A little more about Gary’s story…
Gary Armstrong was born and raised in a Christian home and learned about the Gospel through numerous church ministries, eventually placing his faith in Christ at the age of ten. His life’s trajectory took a sharp turn shortly thereafter as his family moved states and he fell prey to a neighborhood predator. The next several years were filled with sexual abuse and confusion as Gary experienced heartache that would translate into fear, shame, depression, anxiety, and doubt down the road. In his early teens, Gary succumbed to these dark emotions and experimented with drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the pain. The Christian life he thought he knew unraveled and Gary was on the run—away from God, away from church, away from the only source of healing and hope for his fractured heart.
After years of reckless living as a full-fledged prodigal, Gary landed in jail at the age of nineteen—the first of a series of wake-up calls from God. Upon his release at age twenty, it didn’t take Gary long to fall back into his old destructive patterns, and he soon found himself battling feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Life’s hardships waged war against the faith planted in him as a child, and Gary struggled to see any future for himself. In despair, he attempted to take his own life.
By God’s amazing grace, Gary survived his suicide attempt and soon after realized that running from God was too much to bear. In 1995 Gary fully surrendered his life to Christ. He soon after followed God’s leading to receive Bible training and subsequently entered pastoral ministry. Since 1999 Gary has served in various ministry roles, including senior pastor, associate pastor, church planter, and today serves as senior pastor Burleson Bible Church in Burleson Texas.
As someone who has walked through the dark valley and come out on the other side, Gary is passionate about passing along a message of hope to the next generation. He often speaks to people, exhorting them to leave the dangerous path of sin and rebellion against God and to embrace instead the absolute freedom, healing, joy, and victory found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Gary desires to connect with people through authenticity and vulnerability as to help point them to the God of grace he’s come to know.
Click here to hear more of Gary’s story. (Simply By Grace podcast from May 24, 2023)
Click here to listen to Chela’s story. (Simply By Grace podcast from June 7, 2023)