Gary Force, longtime pastor and teacher in the Rocky Mountain Conference, fell asleep in Jesus on April 5, 2022, at the age of 71.
Gary was born to Clifford Clyde and Doris Naomi (Cartwright) Force on March 5, 1951, in Walla Walla, Washington.
He dedicated his life to service, spending more than 40 years in education before transitioning to the ministry. Force taught at numerous Adventist schools, including Mile High Academy and Vista Ridge Academy.
In 2012 Force was called into the ministry when the Rocky Mountain Conference selected him to pastor a five-church district in Buffalo, Wyoming. In 2015, he transitioned to the Pinon Hills and Durango church district. In 2017, he was named the lead pastor at the newly-formed Durango district, including the Durango and Pagosa Springs church.
Eric Nelson, former RMC vice-president of administration, reflected on Gary Force, his friend and colleague, saying, “Gary has been a good friend since just after college days at Walla Walla College. Although Gary served in the teaching ministry and I in pastoral ministry, we have encouraged, supported and uplifted each other in God’s service. In the latter years of working in the Rocky Mountain Conference, it was a joy to see him transition from teaching to pastoral ministry and talk often of God’s work in his life and churches.”
Nelson added, “His spiritual strength and dedication will be missed. But his legacy of faithful service to God will continue to inspire all of us who knew him.”
Force retired from full-time ministry in August 2021 when he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska to be closer to family and grandchildren. He returned to teaching at College View Academy and Union College for the first semester of the 2021–2022 school year.
He is survived by his children Darcy (Russell) Force, Angela (Seth) Ellis, and Daniel (Roxanne) Force; grandchildren Aaron, Peyton, Enoch, Gwendolen, and Lincoln; brothers Michael (Marsha) Force; Tom (Carolyn) Force; sister Kathy (Greg) Saunders; and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Marirose Stanley Force.
A service was held on April 23 at the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.