Dr. Russell Gary Heikkila

Biography/Profile for Dr. Russell Gary Heikkila
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Dr. R. Gary Heikkila is Pastor emeritus of the Mission Evangelical Congregational Church in Maynard, Massachusetts (1966–1996) and also the Mission Street Congregational Church in nearby Gardner (1962–1997).  A radio broadcast of his morning service was aired over a tri-state area.

 

From a fundamental Bible School to a Tennessee pulpit to the glamour of the life of a Hollywood actor to over three decades as a New England Pastor, Dr. Heikkila has led a strange and fascinating life.  This unique minister-actor has an exciting testimony.  Powerful charm, a magnificent speaking voice and an expressive countenance present only a brief look at what Gary Heikkila really is.

 

Gary Heikkila’s autobiography, Furnace of Affliction, has been endorsed by outstanding Churchmen.  His book combines the glitter of Hollywood society with intense personal agony.  It recounts the heartbreak and sorrow, suffering and loneliness that inevitably accompany a journey independent of God.  From near starvation in a Los Angeles slum to commendation from the President of the United States and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Gary Heikkila has lived an incredible life.

 

In addition to his Pastoral responsibilities, Dr. Heikkila, a Bronze Star winner of the Korean Conflict, was Chaplain of the District Court of Central Middlesex, Concord, Massachusetts, Chaplain of the Maynard Police Department and is in demand to speak at colleges, conventions and church events around the country.  His participation in the Historic Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy held in Jerusalem has added to his status as a much sought after speaker, lecturer and television guest.  He was honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, “For your service to the cities, state and nation and for Your Continuing Program (A Service of patriotism) that has extended, to our knowledge, for over three decades.  It is the desire of the Department of Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars to express our appreciation in this manner by presenting you with the highest award for citizenship within the province of this organization — The Citizenship Medal.”  This award was never before – or since – awarded.

 

Far-famed Pastor, author, educator, Dr. W.A. Criswell said, “He is worthy of every noble recognition that has been accorded him throughout this ecclesiastical world.”

 

Dr. Heikkila has demonstrated exemplary leadership.  Former Selectman George Shaw, of the Town of Maynard, spoke of his being an eminent leader and distinguished person and added, “Maynard had two attractions: Digital and Dr. Heikkila.”

 

TH.G. Tennessee Temple University, Chattanooga, Tennessee

D.D. (Honoris Causa), Triune Biblical University, Longview, Washington

LL.D. (Honoris Causa), Triune Biblical University, Longview, Washington

B.T. (summa cum laude), Triune Biblical University, Longview, Washington

M.T. (summa cum laude), Triune Biblical University, Longview, Washington

D.MIN. (summa cum laude), Triune Biblical University, Longview, Washington

Ph.D., Christian Bible College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina

 

Dr. Heikkila’s (approximately 60,000-word) thesis is entitled “FROM HOLLYWOOD TO CALVARY…A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE IN FAITH.”

 

Dr. Heikkila’s ministerial certification is with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference and with the Triune Ministers Professional Association.

 

Dr. Heikkila was certified at the Diplomate level for Christian Counseling by the Triune Christian Counselors Professional Association.

 

Dr. Heikkila is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

 

Dr. Heikkila has been certified in the Worley’s Identity Discovery (psychological profile) Profile by Dr. John W. Worley, Ph.D., Groton, MA.

 

Dr. Heikkila has been named Adjunct Professor of Ministry at Triune Biblical University.

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PROFILE — DR. RUSSELL GARY HEIKKILA

 

       Born: Trimountain, Michigan, May 21, 1932

 

     Educated in the public schools of Trimountain and Calumet, Michigan.  Received the Th.G. Degree in Theology from Tennessee Temple University, Chattanooga, Tennessee (1957).

 

     Pastor emeritus of Gardner’s (Mass.) Mission Street Congregational Church and speaker on the radio pulpit of Gardner which has a listening potential of 50,000 in a tri-state area.  The Gardner work began with 7 members in 1962.

 

     Pastor emeritus of Maynard’s (Mass.) Mission Evangelical Congregational Church, assuming this responsibility in 1966.

 

     Since his retirement, Dr. Heikkila has served as Interim Pastor in various churches, including the Elm Street Congregational Church, Fitchburg, MA.  He is currently serving as Interim Pastor of the First Baptist Church of So. Gardner, Ma.  He also helped organize the Vineyard Christian Church in Rindge, NH and served the parish for two and a half years. He was recently named as Associate Pastor of the Elm Street Congregational Church, Fitchburg, MA.

 

     On March 7, 2007, Dr. Heikkila received the global credential of Board Certified Christian Counselor by the International Board of Christian Counselors, Forest, Virginia.

 

     Hospice Chaplain for the Gardner Visiting Nurses Association, Gardner, MA.

 

     Chaplain of the District Court of Central Middlesex, Concord, Massachusetts.

 

     Chaplain of the Maynard (Mass.) Police Department.

 

     Biographical sketch appeared in the 1977-78 edition of “Who’s Who in Religion.”

 

     Charter member of the Fellowship of Christians in the Arts, Media and Entertainment.

 

     Member of the Screen Actors’ Guild.

 

     Bronze Star Winner of the Korean Conflict.

 

     Honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars “For your service to the cities, state and nation and for Your Continuing Program (A Service of patriotism) that has extended, to our knowledge, for more than a decade.  It is the desire of the Department of Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars to express our appreciation in this manner by presenting you with the highest award for citizenship within the province of this organization — The Citizenship Medal.”

 

     New Leaf Press of Harrison, Arkansas, has published Dr. Heikkila’s autobiography entitled, Furnace of Affliction.

 

     Maynard Lodge No. 1568, Order of Elks, presented Dr. Heikkila with the “Outstanding Citizen Service Award” in 1982.

 

     Past President of the Eastern Finnish Congregational Mission Conference of America.

 

     Dr. Heikkila has addressed many civic, religious and patriotic organizations including the Rotary, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Women’s Groups, etc.

 

     He is a frequent guest on various television talk shows for the purpose of sharing his faith.

 

     He is the originator of the Annual Service of Patriotism which was held in both Churches each November.  This unique witness for God and country has received wide attention from dignitaries in various walks of life.

 

     The Doctor of Divinity Degree (Honoris Causa) was conferred on Dr. Heikkila on Sunday February 10, 1991, by Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson, a general surgeon with Boston University Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine, on behalf of Dr. Leroy Mikels, Th.D., President of Triune Biblical University, Kelso, Washington.  A large convocation of dignitaries included former President Bush’s sister, Nancy Bush Ellis.

 

     Dr. Heikkila is a Life member of The American Legion, Post 0235, Gardner, MA.  He is also a Life member of the Veterans of Foreign War, Post 905, Gardner, MA.

 

     Dr. Heikkila has been serving as interim pastor at the historic First Baptist Church of South Gardner, MA for the past three years.

 

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