Cover photo for Rev. Dr. Gary L. Forbes's Obituary
Rev. Dr. Gary L. Forbes Profile Photo
1939 Rev. Dr. Gary 2024

Rev. Dr. Gary L. Forbes

April 4, 1939 — June 4, 2024

West Lafayette

Reverend Dr. Gary L. Forbes, 85, passed away on June 4, 2024. 

Funeral is Friday, June 14, 2024, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 509 North Street, Lafayette,  Indiana, with visitation beginning at 10:00am and the service, officiated by Reverend Dr. J. Philip  Klinger, beginning at 11:00am. Burial will be in Meadow View cemetery in Lafayette. Donations may  be made to the Upper Room Ministry of First United Methodist Church, 333 North Main Street,  South Bend, Indiana 46601. Hahn-Groeber Funeral Home is honored to serve the Forbes family. Please leave memories and condolences at www.hahngroeberfuneralhome.com

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Marilyn K. Foss Forbes; son, Randal S. Forbes (Tamarah) of  Lawrence, Indiana; son, Rick A. Forbes (Elle) of Atlanta, Georgia; son, Rodney E. Forbes (Marydell)  of West Lafayette, Indiana; son, Ryan T. Forbes (Angela) of Denver, Colorado; grandchildren, Ryanne  (James), Rae (Matthew), Connor, Cameron, Brody, Keegan (Marissa), Aidan, Tyler (Amber), and  Kyleigh (Jayden); great-grandchildren Annabelle, Oliver, Zachary, Maximilian, Evelyn, Vaylee, Jaren;  and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard W. Forbes and Velma L. Griffin Forbes, and by  sister, Konita Forbes Dougherty. 

Dr. Forbes was born in Angola, Indiana on April 4, 1939. He was the great-grandson of Bishop Eli B.  Griffin. 

He graduated from Angola High School in 1957. There, he sang in various choirs, pole-vaulted, ran  hurdles, played baseball, and played basketball. On the basketball team, he was a starting guard  and his best friend, Mike Erickson, played center. Dr. Forbes graduated from Taylor University in  1961. There, he sang in the varsity quartet and pole-vaulted. 

He graduated from Garrett Evangelical Seminary in 1965, where he studied preaching under  Professor George A. Buttrick. In 1978, he earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Christian  Theological Seminary. He lectured at United Seminary, Huntington College, and Indiana University Kokomo. He taught preaching for 33 years to approximately 1200 pastors at the “Local Pastor’s  License School” and at the “Course of Study” program. (In response to questions about how he  prepared sermons and preached without notes, he often replied “preaching is hard and requires  hard work.”) Many of his parishioners recall that he sang the sermon about once a year. Dr. Forbes’ book “Biography of a Beggar: and Other Sermons” provides a sampling of his preaching. 

In the 1960’s, he joined the Ashram movement and Dr. E. Stanley Jones became one of his mentors.  Over the next four decades, Dr. Forbes preached at Ashrams throughout the United States and  Canada, including two with Dr. Jones. Dr. Forbes also deeply appreciated the mentorship of the  Senior Pastors that he served under (especially Rev. L.G. Sapp and Rev. Orin Manifold) and he was  very proud of his associate pastors (including but not limited to--Dr. Robert Dungy, Rev. Scott  Shoaff, Rev. Steven Conner, Rev. Linda Dolby, Dr. John Wimmer, and Rev. Michael Butler.) Dr.  Forbes made a special effort to include retired Pastors in the work of the congregation. 

Dr. Forbes served as a local pastor and then as an elder in The Methodist Church (which in 1968  became the United Methodist Church) at the following congregations: Asbury Chapel (1959-1961);  Bluffton First (1961-1962); Huntington Trinity (1962-1968); Union City Wesley (1968-1973); Frankfort  St. Matthew (1973-1976); South Bend First (1976-1985); Lafayette Trinity (1985-1993); Fort Wayne  First Wayne Street (1993-1997); Indianapolis North (1997-1999); and Kokomo Grace (1999-2003).

Dr. Forbes retired from full-time pastoral ministry in 2003. He served part-time in retirement at Mt.  Zion, Reynolds, and Yeoman. Under his leadership, several of the above congregations established  schools for migrants, employment programs for refugees, daycare programs, before school  breakfast programs, after-school educational programs, programs for the homeless, soup kitchens,  and counseling programs for the mentally ill. Dr. Forbes was an evangelist but believed that  evangelism was hollow if it did not involve the reconciliation of the estranged, the pursuit of peace, the uplifting of the poor, and the inclusion of the outcast. Dr. Forbes’ book “Where Cross the  Crowded Ways” recounts the journey of one of the congregations as they sought to serve persons in  the inner city. 

Dr. Forbes’ inspiration and motivation was and is the reality of Jesus Christ and Christ’s role as the redeemer of all of humanity and the revealer of the Trinity’s love. Theology is only philosophy unless  it starts with and derives from Christ. Loving each other as Christ loved is the best evidence of the  blessed assurance of the salvation that has been won for us.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. Dr. Gary L. Forbes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 14, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Trinity United Methodist Church

509 North St, Lafayette, IN 47901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, June 14, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Trinity United Methodist Church

509 North St, Lafayette, IN 47901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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