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.