Gale Thomas Wetzel

Date of Death: January 06, 2020

Rev. Gale Thomas Gale Wetzel, 82, an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church, passed from Earth to Heaven on Jan. 6, 2020.  

He was born Sept. 29, 1937. He graduated from Calhoun High School in 1955, attended Murray State College and graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1967 with a Master of Divinity degree. He was licensed to preach in the Methodist Church in 1962, ordained a deacon in 1964 and ordained an elder in 1967. 

Gale preached his first sermon Dec. 29, 1959, and preached for 60 years, mostly serving churches in the Bowling Green area. He entered full-time evangelism in the late 1960s, preaching in more than 1,200 revivals. He did 48 overseas mission trips including Russia, India, Montserrat, Antiqua,  Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, and Zimbabwe.  

In 1996 Gale resumed pastoring churches along with performing his evangelistic ministry until 2015. Gale was a state-certified volunteer chaplain, doing ministry in the state prisons.  He served for 24 years at the Green River Correctional Complex, retiring June 6, 2019.  He also did ministry in jails.

Gale was instrumental in taking many people with him on his mission trips and inspired many to serve in prison and jail ministry. Gale’s passion was winning people to Jesus Christ. He compiled a booklet, “Reading the Bible Through in One Year and Four Basic Things That You Need to Know,” which he used to witness to people. 

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; son, Owen Thomas Wetzel (Pat); son-in-law, Eric Winter (Chris); eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; brother, James Bennett Wetzel (Beth); brother-in-law, Tommy Ashby; and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins. Gale was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Paula, and a sister.

The funeral was held Jan. 11, 2020, at Franklin First United Methodist Church with burial in Crescent Hill Cemetery in Scottsville, Kentucky.  Clergy were Rev. Chris Patterson, Brother James Hall, Rev. Bobby Pearson and Rev. Brian Gilbreth. Pallbearers were directors of Gale Wetzel Evangelistic Ministries, and honorary pallbearers included neighbors and former prison inmates. Clergy from many faiths formed an arch to say goodbye to their dear friend. 

At Gale’s request, he was not buried in a tie and an evangelistic invitation was given at the end of the service. Crafton Funeral Home in Franklin, Kentucky, was in charge of arrangements.