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Gary grew up in a musical family with five brothers and two sisters. His mother (a piano major in college) gave each of the children a foundation in piano. Gary went on to study trumpet and participated in the Waco and Baylor symphonies (and Baylor Wind Ensemble) as a student at Baylor. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Baylor University with an emphasis in Music Theory. He studied composition under Dr. Richard Willis (Baylor) and Henry Pursell (Belmont University, Nashville, TN), who were both students of Howard Hansen.
In the early 80's, Gary began work as a music editor for Word Incorporated and became the Creative Director of Choral Music working with writers and arrangers for Adult, Youth and Children's music. During that time he began writing and arranging for church choir and orchestra. Since that time, he has published hundreds of anthems and co-written over twenty musicals and collections including “My Utmost for His Highest,” “Experiencing God,” “He's Alive,” “The Gift of Christmas,” “East to West,” “Glory to God,” and most recently “Your Great Name.” He is a three-time Dove Award winner for Musical of the year and continues to write for several different publishers as well as serving as clinician, guest conductor for choirs across the nation.
In 1988, Gary became the Worship Pastor at Highland Baptist Church where he still serves. He celebrated his 30th anniversary with his wife Karen this year. They have two children, Christopher and Annie.