The legacy of Gary Porter
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Today we honor a very special person who cared deeply for children from hard places as well as the ministry of Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO). Gary Porter, who served as our organization’s long-time executive director, went home to be with the Lord on March 9, 2021. Please join us in praying for Bobbie and the rest of Gary’s family as they grieve the loss of this larger-than-life man.
Read the full obituary which includes a link to view the livestream of Gary’s service at 4pm on Saturday, March 13. Gary’s home church here in Ohio, Orrville Christian Church, is welcoming friends to view the service together. They will begin at 3:30pm to allow for a time of sharing and praying. Orrville Christian is located at 925 North Elm in Orrville. We are grateful to the church for offering this option.
“Gary, along with his wife, Bobbie, were instrumental in building the foundation of CCHO and our family of ministries,” said Kevin Hewitt. “Gary was passionate about the children who resided at CCHO and ensuring that they knew how much God loved each one of them.”
With the heart of a pastor, he led the ministry of CCHO from 1979 to 2012. During this time, our residential program grew and services were expanded for foster care and community mental health so that more children and adults would have the opportunity to learn their true worth.
In 2012, the old farmhouse, the very first foster home on our 165-acre campus, was named the Gary and Bobbie Porter Hospitality Home as a tribute to their devotion and sacrifices. Gary will be remembered for showing children the love of their heavenly Father and for being an earthly father to many. His legacy of grace, kindness and patience will continue for generations to come.
We had the privilege of celebrating Gary for his 33 years of service with the very first Heart for the Home Award in 2017. We invite you to watch the video tribute created at that time to hear his compassion for the agency and the gratefulness of our ministry family.
During CCHO’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2019, Gary reminisced about the early days of the ministry and the lives of individuals served. “I was a part of several groups that completed work projects at CCHO [in 1969], and it was during that time that I fell in love with this emerging ministry. Little did I know or even imagine that in just 10 years, my family and I would be living on that piece of farmland and that I would soon become CCHO’s second executive director. I believe this was all a part of God’s plan.” Read his memories here.
We are grateful that God used Gary’s life to be a blessing to many. We will miss Gary, and know that he is rejoicing in the presence of our Savior and hearing his welcoming words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”