Pastor Garry Wiggins
Garry Leroy Wiggins, age 67, of Jacksonville, Florida, passed away December 7, 2022, at Mayo Clinic Hospital in the presence of his family. Garry was born in Demopolis, Alabama, on June 1, 1955 to his loving parents, Cecil Wiggins and Pauline Green Wiggins. In his early childhood years, he resided in Demopolis and Memphis and then in 1964 the family relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. Garry graduated Ed White High School in 1973. He attended Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts Biblical Studies. He faithfully served and ministered to the local community in Jacksonville for over 45 years. In 1975, Garry met the love of his life, Rhonda Kim Wiggins. Garry and Kim were happily married in 1977 and they enjoyed an amazing 45 years together. In 1977, he became the youth pastor at Evangel Temple. He was ordained in May of 1979. Later Garry transitioned to Co-Pastor in 1982 and served faithfully beside his father, Cecil Wiggins. He became Senior Pastor in 2010 until he retired to his heavenly home. Pastor Garry also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 2020 from Truth Bible College.
Garry Wiggins was a man of great faith in Jesus Christ. Every day his life was centered in devotion to Christ through prayer and scripture. He truly loved his family, leading them to acquiring deep roots of faith of their own in Christ and in the church. His influential leadership in both Evangel and the Jacksonville community was a product of the faith he held dear. Pastor Garry had a passion to see the church in America revived, to see the nation return to her spiritual heritage, and to celebrate God and Country united as one. His heart always led him and Evangel to help those in need, both locally and globally. He led Evangel to participate in thousands of outreaches to share the hope of the Gospel. Not only was Pastor Garry an incredible leader, but he was also a pastor’s pastor. He was a father to the fatherless and an avid supporter of Israel. He believed the church on earth should reflect the church in Heaven by being both multi generational and multi cultural.
When Pastor Garry wasn’t working, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He rarely missed his children’s sporting events or musical concerts, and there were undoubtedly many! He LOVED life with his 11 grandchildren, frequenting places like the zoo, Florida theme parks, soccer matches, horse back riding lessons, iceskating practices, golf matches, etc. Garry was an avid hunter, fisher, and an overall outdoorsman. He found relaxation in activities such as gardening and bee keeping. Garry enjoyed his daily walks of exercise, occasional golf matches, cruising, traveling and annual family ski trips. He was happiest when his family, friends, and iPhone were close by! Pastor Garry’s 67 years were certainly full of life and purpose, one of his proudest accomplishments being that all of his family loves Jesus and proudly serves in ministry at Evangel together.
Pastor Garry was a visionary leader. In his 45 years at Evangel, 13 of those years being lead pastor, Garry led the congregation through much transition and change to help reach upcoming generations. His heart for missions and Israel was unparalleled. Pastor Garry personally led over 120 global teams to help build 100+ churches and schools, conduct medical clinics, as well as evangelize in outreaches in over 40 countries on four different continents. Under his tenure as lead pastor, Evangel gave over $8 million to global outreach and an additional $868,000 to Israel. He rallied the church’s support for over 180 missionaries and ministries on a monthly basis. Pastor Garry was very active in disaster relief initiatives in the USA and around the world, including repatriating one missionary’s body from the jungles of Central America back to the USA. Pastor Garry served on dozens of non-profit boards and leadership teams for events such as the Billy Graham Crusade, Franklin Graham Crusade, Interfaith Coalitions for multiple mayors, CPR, Justice Coalition and many others. Pastor Garry was even able to get the NFL to sanction a community relief event in partnership with Convoy of Hope during the Super Bowl in Jacksonville.
Pastor Garry is survived by his wife of 45 years, Kim Wiggins, of Jacksonville, FL; three children, Jennifer (Ryan) Hidalgo, Justin (Katy) Wiggins, Jordan (Marie) Wiggins; mother, Pauline Wiggins; Sister Kay (Randy) Kisser of Jacksonville, Fl; 11 Grandchildren with the 12th grandbaby due next month in January. Garry is pre-deceased by his father, Rev. Cecil Wiggins, and brother, Stephen Wiggins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Evangel Temple Assembly of God for the Pastor Garry Wiggins memorial fund to continue Pastor Garry’s vision, Build. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Ferreira Funeral Services, 1320 South Chaffee Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32221.