Services are scheduled for 2 PM, Saturday, October 9 at First Baptist Church for Gary Don Mitchell of Clovis, New Mexico.
Dr. Gary Mitchell, 73, died October 1, 2021 at Plains Regional Medical Center.
Pastors Tyler Hicks, Dan Pearce, and Jesse Cantu will officiate at the services with burial to follow at Lawn Haven Cemetery. Visitation will be at Steed Todd Chapel Friday beginning at 4:00 PM. Pallbearers are Nathan Flores, Estefan Flores, Caleb Mitchell, Terry Lomas, Shane Allen and Norman Kia. Honorary pallbearers are Thomas Andrews, Mike Trower and Sam Pierce.
Gary was born February 18, 1948 in Clovis, the son of WY and Della Mitchell. His parents, by word and example, instilled in him a love for God, which encouraged him at 9 years of age to accept Jesus as his savior.
He lived much of his life in Clovis, graduating from Clovis High School in 1966. He attended and ran track at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, TX before transferring to the University of North Texas in Denton. It was at North Texas where he met the love of his life, Judy. They were married in December of 1969 and both graduated together from North Texas in 1970, where he received his BA in Journalism. He later earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.
After earning his master's degree, he worked as continuity writer and director at a Dallas TV station operated by CBN before moving back to Clovis in 1978 to work as sports editor at the Clovis New Journal. After only a year, however, he felt called by God to serve as pastor of a local Baptist church where he and his wife ministered for 10 years.
It was from this unique perspective of being a writer and a pastor that inspired much of the Amos the Churchmouse poems printed in the CNJ while he worked there. He would later publish two books: "Amos the Churchmouse: a view from under the pew" and "Amos the Philosophical Churchmouse: another view from under the pew."
After 14 years at the CNJ in various writing positions, he began working at the Wayland Baptist University-Clovis campus as Assistant to the Dean in 2003 before becoming Executive Director and Dean until his retirement in December 2020. He cared greatly for all of the students and staff there. Even after his retirement, he continued teaching online undergraduate and graduate religion classes at WBU up until his passing.
He was a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Clovis, where he currently served as elder and deeply loved his church family.
Gary enjoyed spending time in the mountains with his wife, visiting and spending time with his daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids, and philosophizing with friends. He will be remembered as a loving son, husband, father, grandfather and brother. He was a humble and kind friend to all and his gentle spirit will be deeply missed. Like Barnabas, he was an encouragement to those who knew him.
For those of us grieving, the closing lines of Gary's poem, "amos on perseverance," continues to remind us of the strong faith Gary had in the One who gives us hope:
means remembering who
we re resting on
He was preceded in death by his mother, Della Mitchell.
He is survived by his father, WY Mitchell Jr, his wife of 51 years, Judy Mitchell, his daughter Mara Flores (Jessie Flores), five grandchildren: Thomas Andrews, Aubrey Andrews, Nathan Flores, Estefan Flores, and Andrea Flores, his brother Leon Mitchell (Angie Mitchell), his nieces Kim Spivey (Stu Spivey) and Kristen Guthrie (Travis Guthrie), and nephew Caleb Mitchell (Leah Mitchell) as well as several cousins and extended family.
We would like to express our deep appreciation for all those who cared for Gary during his hospital and rehab stays and all those who supported him and his family.