Gregory Eugene Whitlow
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June 29, 1950 ~ February 23, 2020
Gregory Eugene Whitlow was born June 29, 1950 in Bristow, OK the son of Earl Eugene and Betty Lucille (Coppinger) Whitlow. He was awarded his heavenly home on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the age of 69.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sherry; his daughters: Shawna Salkil and her husband Travis, and Kelley Ross and her husband, TJ ; and his grandchildren, Aubrey Ross, Jaxon Gregory Salkil, Abygail Ross, Levi Ross, and Isabelle Salkil, all of Piedmont. In his life, Greg opened his heart and home to others who chose to call him “Dad” as well. He is also loved and missed by his brothers: Randy Whitlow and his wife Carole, Ryan Whitlow and his wife Kristi, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. “Husband”, “Dad” and “Grandpa” were all titles he held with pride.
Greg spent his early childhood years in Bristow and Guthrie, OK, and then moved to the Oklahoma City area where he lived the rest of his life. He was a proud Putnam City Pirate and alumni of Southwestern Christian University. Called to full-time ministry at an early age, he formed a gospel singing group called, “The King’s Ambassadors” and began evangelizing at the age of nineteen. He joined the staff at Lakeside Assembly of God church at age twenty-two. In 1976, he was elected pastor there and served in that capacity for twenty-six years. He finished his ministerial career at Heritage Fellowship where he filled the pulpit until the very end of his life.
When picturing “Pastor Greg”, it is natural to form an image of him standing behind a pulpit. He was a master of the thirty-minute, three-point sermon. Year in and year out, he brought a fresh look at the Word of God three times a week. Later in his career, he expanded his reach by teaching this craft to young ministers that he mentored.
Preaching was the most public and tangible of Pastor Greg’s gifts, and he loved doing that. Yet, perhaps his greatest gift was in his ability to simply “be there”. “The greatest sound that a pastor can make”, he often said, “is not the sound of his voice, but the sound of his footsteps”. There were so many times that in our darkest hours, we heard those footsteps and looked up to see him standing there, “just making sure we were okay”.
Another image that we need to have of Pastor Greg is one that was not on public display. We didn’t see the time he spent in prayer, seeking God’s best for his church, his city, and his family. He took our needs to heart and quite possibly prayed for our well-being more than we did. Only the Lord and Greg know the hours and times he spent pouring our needs from his heart into the Heart of God.
Across the world, there are many who think of Pastor Greg and say, “I still think of him as my pastor”. This is not a statement about their current pastors; simply a testament to the lasting impact of a life well-lived in the service of our Lord. We can’t all learn to preach like he did, but we can all be there for each other. We can pray for each other, not just in intention but in action. We can be followers of Christ.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” 3 John 2 (NKJV)
Memorial services will be held Saturday, February 29 at 2 pm in the Minchew Auditorium at Southwestern Christian University (7210 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK.) Public parking will be in the main parking lot in front of the Patrick Building on the SCU Campus. The family hopes to gather and greet people after the service. There will be no visitation or viewing at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sonrise Ranch, Adult and Teen Challenge, 19792 Cache Road NW, Cache, OK 73527.