Rev. Blakeman began his ministry at Longview in March of 2005 following the long tenure and retirement of Rev. Jan Keeler. Rev. Blakeman, who likes to be called, "Pastor Gary", has served pastorates in the Kansas City area since 1989; serving congregations in Harrisonville, and Raytown before coming to Longview.
He grew up on his grandparent's farm in Illinois and did his undergraduate work at Southern Illinois University where he met his wife Diana. They were married in 1975 and have two grown children, Dustin and Lindsey who both reside in the Kansas City area.
Pastor Gary felt the call to ministry in 1977 and did his theological studies at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. There he got a Master of Divinity degree in 1983 and was ordained as a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Pastor Gary's wife, Diana, is a Certified Public Accountant who is a partner in the firm Beal, Blakeman & Smither located in Raymore, Missouri.
Pastor Gary enjoys music, playing and singing with a Gospel Quartet at times, and "Jeeping" in the mountains of Colorado. Even more he enjoys the spirit that exists at Longview Chapel, for its farming roots and heritage give it a unique atmosphere and character.