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Gary McGee with his Lord


 

Dr. Gary B. McGee, AGTS distinguished professor of church history and Pentecostal studies, and longtime AG educator, died December 10, 2008. Dr. McGee was hospitalized on November 13 with complications due to a bacterial infection and a weakened immune system from a long fight with cancer. Dr. McGee, 63, was released from the hospital and passed away at home with family present. A professor at AGTS since 1984, he previously taught at Central Bible College and Open Bible College, and authored seven books. Just weeks before his death he completed his last book, “Miracles, Missions, and American Pentecostalism” (forthcoming 2009). Dr. McGee leaves behind his wife, Alice, his two daughters, Angela Brim and Catherine McGee, and two grandchildren, all of Springfield, MO. (More about Dr. McGee)

 

 

 

Thank you from McGee family

I want to express a heartfelt thank you for your many encouraging e-mails both prior to and following Gary’s homegoing. Thank you for the countless petitions prayed on our behalf. They have sustained us through our time of loss. We miss Gary terribly but are confident of God’s faithfulness and strength.

The entire AGTS family rallied around us when Gary entered the hospital and still remain involved in our lives today. President and Mrs. Klaus could not have been more attentive. They treated us with such compassion and sensitivity. President Klaus was one of the first people to come to the house after Gary’s passing. In conjunction with Pastor Charles Arsenault and CBC president, Dr. Gary Denbow, he helped to work out the logistics of the funeral service and lead the memorial tribute at the seminary. Dean Stephen Lim made frequent trips to the hospital, some of them late at night. In addition to his heavy work load, he was doing course preparation for overseas teaching assignments in January and February.

The ministry of AGTS graduates who serve as hospital chaplains must be noted. Dr. Larry Cooper, Dr. Peggy Wobbema, Robin Storer, Amy Cabal and Doug Burwick were with us day and night providing spiritual and practical assistance. Former CBC student, Fritz Schmitt was one of the nurses who tenderly cared for Gary in the critical care unit.

Finally, thanks to all of you who have contributed to the McGee Collection for Pentecostal Studies and Church History. Hopefully, it will provide visiting researchers and current seminary students with resources which may not readily be available elsewhere.

Thank you again and may God richly bless you.

(Mrs.) Alice McGee

Listen to Memorial Services

Memorial Services

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary designated for the McGee Research Collection for Pentecostal Studies and Church History. (Details.)

Viewing
Friday, December 12, 5-8 p.m.
Viewing at Greenlawn East
3540 E. Seminole, Springfield

Additional Viewing
Saturday, December 13, Noon to 1 p.m.
E.S. Williams Chapel on the campus of Central Bible College 3000 N. Grant, Springfield

Memorial Service
Saturday, December 13, 1 p.m.
E.S. Williams Chapel on the campus of Central Bible College 3000 N. Grant, Springfield
(Listen to this service: download the MP3, 65 MB)

Interment
Greenlawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery on North National Ave., Springfield

AGTS Service of Honor for Dr. Gary B. McGee
Monday, December 15, 11 a.m.
William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary 1435 N. Glenstone, Springfield
(Listen to this service: download the MP3 78 MB; download the service program,)

Send a Message to the McGee Family

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Archive of updates about Dr. McGee's condition

12/10/08, 2 p.m.—Our friend and colleague Dr. Gary B. McGee has gone to be with his Lord. He had returned to his home, under hospice care, less than 24 hours ago. He rested peacefully through the night as did Alice and their daughters. Services will be held this weekend. When these details are confirmed we will let you know via this webpage. There will be two services, one led by Pastor Charlie Arsenault of Evangel Temple and one for our AGTS community.

We are grateful for a life that has reflected Christ's Kingdom so brightly. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Our friend is with his Lord.

12/9/08, 4 p.m.—In-home hospice care has been set up, and Dr. McGee has been released from the hospital. You may continue to send your messages through the form on this webpage or to his home at 1920 E. Sayer Circle, Springfield, MO  65803.

Please pray for Alice and her daughters. This has been a very long ordeal. The physical and emotional pressures are daunting. Pray that God will strengthen and refresh them.

12/8/08, 9 a.m.Dr. McGee has been taking some food. He is particularly enjoying ice cream whenever he can get it and sends people out for it when the hospital doesn't provide it. When he is not sleeping he is lucid, but tires very easily. Plans are still to send him home when hospice care is set up.

12/5/08, 4 p.m.Dr. McGee is resting and is clear-thinking and responsive during the moments he is not asleep. He has asked the doctors to remove him from the oxygen. He has placed himself in God's hands. Pray that our Lord will be gracious to Dr. McGee in this final chapter of his life.

12/3/08, 3:30 p.m.Dr. McGee's condition worsened through the night. He is lucid and responsive, but his breathing is quite labored. The goal is still to move Dr. McGee home when the doctor releases him and hospice care is in place.

12/2/08, 11 a.m.Dr. McGee and his doctor have conferred together and the doctor has given orders to release Dr. McGee from the critical care unit. Dr. McGee feels that he wants to place himself in God’s hands and will accept the Lord’s plan for his life.

He is being weaned off certain medicines, will be placed in a private room and will be released to go home when hospice care is in place (probably 24-48 hours).

It is simply impossible for all the people who would like to speak to Dr. McGee to do so. Alice has asked that students and friends use the web to write messages to Dr. McGee. As long as he has strength he will read or have your messages read to him. Cards and messages may also be sent to Dr. McGee at 1920 E. Sayer Circle, Springfield, MO  65803.

11/30/08, 3:30 p.m.Dr. McGee was placed back on the ventilator on Friday. Progress seems to be at a standstill. The advances that were made with blood pressure, temperature, infection and other vital signs seem to only be maintained with medical support. Please pray earnestly as doctors evaluate the current situation and make vital decisions with Alice and the family.

Keep the messages coming. In the moments that Dr. McGee is conscious, these messages are a source of great blessing to the family and Dr. McGee.

11/27/08, 1 p.m.Dr. McGee is off the ventilator and breathing on his own (no tracheotomy at this point). The doctors have stopped the sedation medication. He has yet to regain consciousness, although they believe he will soon. He has a fever of 102. They are still awaiting test results to determine the source of infection.

11/25/08, 3 p.m.—Alice and the family appreciate all who have taken time to share their thoughts and prayers. The situation is generally unchanged. He remains in very critical condition. Doctors are still concerned and are awaiting test results to determine the next course of action.

11/24/08, Noon—Doctors are now voicing concern regarding Dr. McGee's progress. Your continued prayers are crucial at this time.

11/24/08, 9 a.m.—While Dr. McGee's condition is still stable, his temperature is elevated to around 102. Since doctor's have not been able to determine the source of the infection through cultures and CAT scans, an infectious disease specialist will be called in. All else is good: blood pressure, kidney function and electrolyte, potassium and phosphorous levels. He continues on the ventilator for the time being. Doctors are hopeful they can remove it, possibly replacing it with a tracheotomy, in a few days.

11/22/08, 8:30 p.m.Dr. McGee's condition continues to be stable, along with his temperature and blood pressure. They are still working to get excess fluid out of his body. He has been given several more units of blood. Most likely he will have the ventilator removed early next week and replaced with a tracheotomy. This will allow the doctors to slowly bring him off sedation. The doctor continues to affirm that all of the medical challenges facing Dr. McGee are treatable.

11/21/08, 11 a.m.—Thursday was a challenging day. Dr. McGee's temperature spiked but has leveled off. He was given several units of blood to get his platelet count up. He will be on the ventilator through the weekend, but may need a tracheotomy next week to continue help with breathing. While progress is now at a snails pace, the doctor is very clear that all the challenges facing Dr. McGee at this point are treatable. They continue to work on removing fluid from his body that has accumulated in the last week, particularly in the lungs.

11/19/08, 12:45 p.m.—The doctor's main focus today is still to reduce the fluid buildup in his body. When this is satisfactory, they will begin the process of lessening sedation and slowly bringing him to a conscious state. At that point he will no longer be listed as critical. Progress is slow but steady and no reversals have occurred.

11/18/08, 11:30 a.m.Dr. McGee continues on the ventilator and is still under heavy sedation. The doctor's goals today are to get his electrolytes, particularly potassium and phosphorus, to an acceptable level and to reduce the excess fluid in his body that has accumulated over the past several days. Slow, steady progress is being made.

Alice has regularly been able to get a good night's sleep. The whole family is now gathered in Springfield and has been tremendously encouraged by the steady stream of messages from friends of Dr. McGee. They read them all and read numerous of the messages to Dr. McGee.  

11/17/08, 2:30 p.m.—Alice just met with the attending doctor. Dr. McGee's blood pressure, heart-rate and blood sugar are all within acceptable ranges. The strep infection is being aggressively addressed by antibiotics and is coming under control. He should be off the ventilator in several days. If all goes as the doctor's prognosis is being presented, he should be good to go in several months.

11/17/08, 12:30 p.m.—Dr. McGee's sisters and their husbands have now arrived. With Alice's sister here as well, there is significant support in place for the McGee family.

Dr. McGee's blood pressure and temperature have stabilized. Blood pressure medicine and the cooling blanket are no longer needed. These are small but significant advances, given the state Dr. McGee was in last Thursday evening.

The family is so grateful for your messages. They read them daily and are sharing them with Dr. McGee. The inspiration they provide is a huge blessing to the McGee family.

A Testimony of Praise—Last Thursday evening Dr. McGee's condition was quite fragile. Family, AGTS leaders and pastors from the McGee's church, Evangel Temple, gathered in the ICU waiting room to pray. Pastor Charles Arsenault led in a prayer which was overheard by a man visiting his wife in the ICU. The next day this man approached Alice and her sister in that waiting room and said that when he heard Pastor Arsenault's prayer he was overcome with emotion. He relayed that he was one of 15 children and was the only one not serving the Lord. He had just retired from a job with the railroad and his wife was in the hospital fighting cancer. Alice's sister, noticing his brokenness, pressed him about his spiritual condition and after conversing for awhile led him to faith in Christ. He told her that his 93 year old mother had been praying that he would give his life over to Jesus for many years. She said he should call his mother immediately, which he did. The last few days have seen a marked change in this man. Although his wife is facing very serious health issues, the man is visibly changed; there is a glow on his face and a confidence in his countenance.

Even as Dr. McGee has been in ICU, his life has been the spark for another to come to know Jesus Christ as Savior. To God be the Glory!

11/16/08, 2 p.m.—Dr. McGee slept well Saturday night. Dosages of sedation medicines were lowered and he regained consciousness for a short while, acknowledging and recognizing Alice's presence at his bedside. Doctors have decided to return to a heavier dosage of sedation meds. Strep bacteria has been identified and antibiotic regimens are addressing this specific challenge. As long as Dr. McGee remains on the ventilator he is considered in critical condition. Doctors anticipate him remaining on the ventilator for several more days.  

11/15/08, 11 a.m.Dr. McGee had a good night. He is still in critical condition, sedated and on a ventilator. His heart rate and temperature are lower and now the doctors are going to attempt to lower the dosages of all initial medications to see how he responds. He is now receiving nourishment through a feeding tube. His sisters will be arriving today to join the family who have gathered in Springfield.

11/14/08, 8:30 p.m.Dr. McGee's blood pressure has stabilized and his high temperature has moved much closer to normal. The doctors are still waiting for the lab results that will identify the bacteria that is causing the infection in the blood and also pneumonia.  Much progress has been made in the first 24 hours of hospitalization.

11/14/08, 1 p.m.—Some stabilization has occurred. Dr. McGee is being sedated to keep his heart beat lower than it has been. He has a very high fever and bacterial infection that is being addressed with broad-spectrum antibiotics.

He was not expected to make it through the night, but the current situation certainly indicates a turn for the better. God's healing strength is clearly at work.

11/14/08, 11 a.m.—Dr. Gary McGee was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after flu-like symptoms throughout the week made him quite weak. The doctors have placed him in the critical care unit. His weakened condition is being addressed by the doctors who say he is in very critical condition. The next 24 to 36 hours will be crucial.

 

Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:32 PM

 
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