Ira Gallaway


Ira Leon Gallaway was born May 24, 1923, near Glen Cove, Texas. He grew up in Coleman County, Texas, and graduated from Talpa High School in 1940. In July 1941 he married Florene Gayle (Sally) Baxter in Friona , Texas. He entered the Army Air Corps in 1941, and served with air supply in North Africa during World War II. After the war, he majored in International Law at the University of Texas at Austin, graduating in 1949 with honors as a Friar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. He served in Washington, DC, as administrative assistant to US Representative Homer Thornberry before returning to Coleman, Texas, where he was elected as County Judge in 1951. After an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the US Congress, he worked for several years in the oil business before answering a call to ministry in the Methodist Church. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at SMU while serving as a student minister at Highland Park Methodist Church in Dallas, then as senior pastor at First Methodist in Hutchins. He was an effective and much beloved pastor at Kirkwood Methodist in Irving, Texas, and Walnut Hill Methodist in Dallas before becoming district superintendent with the Fort Worth East district of the Methodist Church, and then General Secretary of the Board of Evangelism in Nashville, Tennessee. In late 1972, Dr. Gallaway began a 17-year appointment as senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Peoria, Illinois. Ira and Sally served with Four Corners Ministry after moving to Colorado. Throughout his career, Dr. Gallaway was a champion for the renewal of scriptural Christianity within the Methodist Church He helped to found, direct, and support numerous renewal organizations and movements such as the Mission Society, the Confessing Movement, and the Institute for Religion and Democracy. He served for many years as a member and chairman of the Board of Trustees at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, from which he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree. In the final years of his life he lived in the Wesley Village Retirement Community in Wilmore, Kentucky, and continued to serve as a consultant and emeritus member of Asbury's Board. Dr. Gallaway is preceded in death by his wife, Sally, his two sons, Jerry and Timothy, and two grandsons, John and Zachary. Ira and Sally are survived by daughter, Cynthia, and son, Craig, thirteen grandchildren; and five great grandchildren. The theme he selected for his funeral service, and the epitaph on the gravestone he will share with his wife, Sally, is the simple phrase, "Thank You, Lord." A service in his honor will be held at 3:00pm Sunday, March 22, in the Estes Chapel at Asbury Seminary. Visitation begins at 12:00 noon. He will be buried in the family plot at Glen Cove Cemetery in Texas. Thank You, Lord!