Rev. H. Leroy Gardner
November 24, 1940–May 29, 2013
Harold LeRoy Gardner, The Friends of Israel’s Midwest representative in the Department of Ministry Advancement, was called on May 29 to meet the Savior whom he had so passionately dedicated his life to serve.
LeRoy, or “Lee,” was born on November 24, 1940, at the family home in Pine River, Minnesota, the seventh of nine children. After graduating high school, he began a 20-year career as a meat cutter. A trip to a steakhouse with Lee was always an education.
In 1961 he met the love of his life, Sharon O’Brien; and they soon committed their lives to each other in marriage. The Lord blessed them with four children.
Sensitive to God’s leading, LeRoy felt the Lord calling him to ministry. In 1976 he left his meat-cutting position to attend Bible college. After graduating, he began another nearly 20-year career as a pastor with Village Missions, pastoring five churches in the West.
With the children grown, Lee embarked on a third career, this time with The Friends of Israel. He spent more than 13 years ministering in a 12-state region to people who support The Friends of Israel through their prayers and gifts. His pastoral training served him well, as he and Sharon traveled extensively throughout the Midwest. His love for the Lord and passion for sharing biblical truth were evident every time he spoke with supporters of this ministry.
Besides Sharon, Lee leaves behind three children: Kevin, Cindy (Mrs. Darwin) Davies, and Philip (married to Tali). Their son Jeff preceded Lee into glory. He also leaves nine grandchildren.
Scripture says, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints” (Heb 6:10). Neither will we forget. LeRoy’s warm personality, deep love of Christ, work of faith, and labor of love will be greatly missed by all of us at The Friends of Israel.