Aug. 12, 1936 – Sept. 30, 2013
The Rev. Gerald J. Graham, who served for more than 30 years as senior pastor of Grace Gospel Church, died Monday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 77.
The Buffalo native grew up in Lackawanna and served in the 11th Airborne Division of the U.S. Army in Germany after the Korean War.
Mr. Graham worked for several years at Elma Printing, and he served as a deacon at West Seneca Baptist Church prior to studying to be a minister.
He founded the nondenominational Grace Gospel Church along with a brother and a few other people in 1979.
The congregation worshipped for many years at the former West Seneca campus of Houghton College, until moving a few years ago to Lancaster.
Mr. Graham, a resident of Elma, studied the Bible regularly and was fluent in Hebrew, according to his daughter Rebekah Schweizer.
The congregation of about 80 members celebrated his retirement from ministry at his final service from the pulpit this past Sunday.
In addition to his daughter Rebekah, survivors include his wife of 50 years, the former Patricia Northem; another daughter, Tamar; five sons, Kenneth, Kevin, Raymond, Seth and Joel; two sisters, Helen and Carol Metty; and three brothers, Jack, and Thomas and Joseph Metty.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. today in Grace Gospel Church, 5575 Broadway, Lancaster.