It’s a story full of twists and turns involving a revolution, a harrowing escape, and countless adventures experienced adjusting to the American way of life. It also includes God’s maneuverings toward a personal encounter with Him.
My name is Gabe Galdo and I was born in Havana, Cuba where I spent my formative years in pre and post Castro rule. Our family escaped to the United States in 1961 where we have lived as political exiles ever since. This life changing experience has given me a unique perspective on just about everything, resulting in a deep appreciation of the freedoms we enjoy and the securities we take so much for granted.
As I grew up in my adopted country, I experienced the same transformation those who settle in America go through. Adjustment and change were my constant companions as I encountered new and different ways of thinking, speaking, behaving, and feeling. The whole process was a training ground for me, enabling me to embrace challenges and know what direction is needed for whatever occasion. Little did I know God was using all these things for the greatest good of bringing me to Himself.
I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord through one of those change adjustments as I sought to engage myself in the South Florida surfing scene. The Jesus People movement of the late 60’s was in full swing when Christ touched one of my surfing buddies and radically changed his life. My passion for something new and different compelled me to find out what had happened to my friend and, four weeks later, I, too, welcomed Jesus Christ into my heart. I was only 16, but I knew something wonderful had happened. It was a transformation that came from above, not of my own doing.
One year later my mother died. She was just 40 years young. God used the resulting crisis to extend His call upon my life into full time ministry. After preparation, study, and a wonderful marriage to my beautiful wife, Debbie, God called us to plant a church in the Southport – Oak Island (N.C.) area. God used me to plant and to pastor the church there for 12 years. Once the church was established, God called us to Greensboro (N.C.) where I pastored for 20 ½ years.
I’ve been a senior pastor for almost 33 years and have sensed my experience and training have uniquely prepared me for shepherding ministry. My 12 year stint as a volunteer chaplain in a local hospital and my being a cancer survivor have specifically equipped me for ministry to the sick and hurting. I am by-lingual and multi-cultural in my orientation; a versatility which allows me to serve in a variety of contexts.
I’m physically fit and enjoy surfing, cycling, and working out at the local YMCA. I am a trained electrician and feel comfortable in any job site engaging with blue-collar workers. I enjoy doing light automotive repairs, reading a good book, and an occasional long hike in the woods.