0 Rev. Dr. Jerry Gillis.

Houghton University Announces 2023 Commencement Speaker

December 15, 2022

Houghton University is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Jerry Gillis of The Chapel in Buffalo, NY will be our commencement speaker in May 2023. Gillis is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and has been serving the people of The Chapel since 2002 and has been in vocational ministry since 1992. 

Houghton graduates, along with their friends and family, will benefit from Gillis’ passion for reaching every man, woman and child with repeated opportunities to hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since becoming lead pastor of The Chapel, he has made it his aim to center this local church around that singular mission.  

“As a Christ-centered university of The Wesleyan Church, our mission is to graduate servant leaders prepared to bring the good news of the Gospel to their vocation,” said Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., President of Houghton University.

Dr. Gillis’ longstanding, faithful pastoral leadership and his commitment to equipping the church for fulfilling the Great Commission will be an inspiring send off for our Class of 2023.

President Lewis, Houghton University

As lead pastor of The Chapel, Gillis roots this community of believers in biblical truth, believes in the mysterious wonder of the trinity and affirms that, while we were still sinners, Jesus saved us through His sacrifice. The Chapel’s stated mission also recognizes the church as a body of believers, created in His image, to serve others and to care for one another within the local church and beyond. Gillis takes this passion for the Gospel to inspire numerous pastors and churches around the nation (and even in other nations) through his involvement with a network of churches called Christ Together. This network aims to empower the whole Church to bring the whole Gospel to the whole nation.

Gillis holds a degree in Communication from the University of Georgia; a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Seminary; and a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Edie, have two sons, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter and make their home in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York. He loves to watch University of Georgia football, go for a long run, read a good book, and eat a great meal with his family at the dinner table.