Beloved Central Texas pastor dies after 6-year battle with rare cancer

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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Praise flowed Tuesday for the founding pastor of the Temple Bible Church, Gary DeSalvo who died Monday evening at the age of 64 after a six-year battle with a rare form of cancer, ocular melanoma, to which he lost an eye.

Temple Bible Church founder Gary DeSalvo died Monday evening at the age of 64 after a six-year battle with a rare form of cancer. (Church photo)

“He was a wonderful pastor, very involved in this community and I hope that you will continue to lift his family up in prayer,” State Rep. Hugh Shine, R-Temple, told a crowd at a luncheon Tuesday.

DeSalvo’s wife, in a Facebook post Monday night, wrote, “Gary saw the face of Jesus and it took his breath away.”

The cancer was diagnosed in 2013, but DeSalvo continued to preach, delivering his last sermon on Aug. 11.

“He didn't know it was last sermon when he gave it but he went to the hospital shortly after that,” teaching Pastor Dave Tate said.

DeSalvo’s Temple Bible Church colleagues describe the Louisiana State University fan as a humble, faithful, family man.

“He really has impacted thousands of people in central Texas for the gospel of Jesus and impacted hundreds if not thousands of pastors in Rwanda or Ukraine Congo other nations all over the world,” teaching Pastor Chase Bowers said.

“He taught all of us how to live, live well and we've also learned from him how to die faithfully.” Bowers said.

Visitation is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Temple Bible Church at 3205 Oakview Dr. in Temple.

The funeral service is at 2 p.m. Saturday at the church.

“Gary would want you to know that he is happy he is worshiping Jesus he is in a place with no more sickness no more pain,” teaching Pastor Tim Cartwright said.