Rev. Gary Witkop was born in Berwin, Illinois. He grew up in Forest Lake, Minnesota and moved to the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota area as a teenager. He came to faith in Jesus Christ through the outreach of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship while attending Bemidji State University. He graduated BSU with a degree in Aquatic Biology in 1980. He completed his seminary education at Lutheran Brethren Seminary in 1983. He has served congregations in Kelso, Washington; Watertown, South Dakota; and Arvada, Colorado. He and his wife Debra live in Arvada, Colorado. They have three adult children.