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Pastor Don Ellerd January 24, 1974 - November 7, 2021

January 24, 1974 – November 7, 2021

Don Ellerd was born in Modesto, CA on January 24, 1974 to David and Neva Ellerd and he left this earth on November 7, 2021 to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

He is survived by his wife, Teresa Ellerd, and children Daniel Ellerd, Rebekah Shepherd and Charles Shepherd, all of Denair. He also leaves behind his granddaughter Penelope Shepherd, his mother Neva Ellerd, sister Danell Gomes, brother Mike Gomes, niece Shayln Gomes, nephew Justin Gomes, and many other family members that loved him dearly.

He was preceded in death by his father David Ellerd, grandparents Earley and Laura Ellerd, and Calvin and Iola Hibdon.

Donny graduated from Denair High School and continued his education at UTI in Arizona as well as attending California Christian College and completing his Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies at Central Valley Bible Institute.

He was in ministry at LifeGate Free Will Baptist Church for over 20 years where he was the Youth Pastor for 8 years and Head Pastor for 9 years.

Donny was also the Director of the Barrier and Sweetwater Christian Camp in Mariposa, CA as well as a newly commissioned home missionary by the National Association of Free Will Baptists and North American Ministries.

He had a heart for people, especially the youth, and preached the Gospel with passion to anyone who would listen. No matter how much he loved a person, he always wanted them to know “Jesus loves you more”.

A Celebration of life will be held at LifeGate Free Will Baptist Church, 2217 Geer Rd., Turlock, at 1pm on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.  The service will also be livestreamed on the church’s Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Barrier – Sweetwater Youth Camp at PO Box 1195, Mariposa, CA  95338.

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  1. Dick Davis says

    Don was a neighbor, two houses down from us. I tuned in to his messages on Sunday mornings, as often as I could, because we had our own church to attend. I loved his down to earth messages, that would relate to anyone listening. You could feel the relationship that he had with Jesus. He always had a friendly greeting as he walked by, going next door to see his mother. He loved his family, especially his granddaughter. I know we aren’t supposed to question God, but I had to say “why Lord “, when I heard he passed. God knows, and I pray we all have our hearts in a relationship with his son Jesus.

  2. Raul Gonzalez says

    Love and prayers to friends and family. You will be missed. A friend I never met…..

  3. Ron Blankinship says

    Will truly miss him we were going to have breakfast last Saturday. But now he is having breakfast at a greatest table. Was a true man of God.

  4. Wally and Cindy Woodruff says

    Until we meet again in the kingdom of God. Prayers to the family.

  5. Elijah Glovier says

    Even before today, I have always missed Donnie as I’ve been away from Turlock for many years. He’s one of the few men of God who I have had an enormous impact on my life and I’m certain the same could be said for many others lives. He helped me stay on the path I am now by encouraging and helping me keep my eyes focused on the Lord. I am proud and honored to have known such a wonderful man of God in my lifetime and I feel that this world is a much better place because he was here.

  6. Felicia Scott says

    Donny was an extraordinary man. He changed my life, as well as so many other’s. This world shined a lot brighter and felt a lot warmer with him in it. I will miss him forever, and not a day will go by where I don’t think of him and smile. My entire childhood and teenage years are full of memories of him, and all of the wonderful experiences, trips, fundraisers, game nights, lessons, church camp weeks and church nights with him made my life better. I am forever grateful for his presence in my life, and for his kind heart that helped so many people.

  7. Tom Bush says

    Don was a man that truly loved God and his people that he served. He always had a open ear to anyone who needed to talk or vent. I love you brother man. I will miss you.

  8. Elaine, Dias says

    Teresa and family, My heart was broken when I heard of Pastor Donnie passing God needed him more! I will always cherish the talks and times he was there for me and my family.His favorite thing to say at the right time was ” It’s AMAZING and that He was.

  9. Linda Pombo says

    Well I guess the Lord said your work here on Earth was done . I know the Lord is happy to have you and I’m sure you are rejoicing in his arms , but your Family and Friends left here on earth are still in shock
    And disbelief that the Lord called you home so soon . My heart is sad like so many other’s . You are going to be missed by me and so many others. I will always cherish the last text you sent just to let me know you were thinking about me and praying for me ..

  10. Roger Chamberlain says

    When I think about Donnie was his heart felt carding an that smile he had even if her was hurting. He was not only my pastor, he was my dearest friend. I will truly miss his wisdom and laughter. Now I have to wait on my LORD to call me home so that I can buy him an hear the joy in heart coming out th greet me.

  11. Mike Trimble says

    Donnie was just such a joy to be around. He was full of energy, enthusiastic, and always positive. He was a great example for all of us. Our prayers are with his lovely family as they navigate life without his huge presence. Heaven gets sweeter all the time.

  12. Jason Hensley says

    True Man of God !! Just weeks before his passing he messaged me just to let me know that I was on his heart and that he was praying for me. He was a constant encourager/cheerleader.

  13. Mae-Lyn Hewitt says

    Donnie was very special man of God and love the Lord!! He helped people of all ages in blessing ways…I remembered the Church camp we used go to with my 2 Sons…had awesome blessing moments and fun!! Going miss his smiles, and love for us all…We love you, Donnie…will see you in Heaven….

  14. curtis hendrix says

    He would always call me Thor

  15. Charlie Lockhart says

    I knew Brother Donnie for nearly 20 years, seeing him once a year at the men’s retreat at Silver Spur. Little over a month ago he came to our church to present his vision for the new church in Mariposa and his smile and enthusiastic heart were greatly welcomed. I’ll miss my brother but rejoice in his present circumstance. He’s where I long to be! As my other brother often says…”Glory!”

  16. Amy Echevarria says

    I will miss you forever Donny. Donnys smile are warm hugs lit up the world and always made everything better. No matter what was going on I always knew he would be there and listen without judgment only love.

  17. Becky Jenkins says

    Pastor Don will be dearly missed ! When I met him a little over two years ago , I knew right away I wanted him to baptize me ! At 67 years of age I found the Lord with the help and guidance of Pastor Don ! As much as we needed him here the Lord needed him more ! Rest In Peace ! ❤️ ❤️

  18. Jim Kilgore says

    I will be forever grateful for the friendship I had with Donnie. He truly was one in a million. I can hear him now saying, “Amazing” as he looks at what waits for the rest of us who have put our trust in Christ.

  19. Sandy Altheide says

    You are a beautiful soul….I loved doing camp with you and your church….Can’t believe that you are no longer here but I have seen you excited about new things and can’t imagine how HAPPY you are to be with Jesus…..You will be missed for the joyful, loving person you are. Until we meet again my friend……Love you

  20. Sam Hensley says

    I dearly loved this Great Man of God. He was like a Brother. He leaves behind an amazing Legacy that will touch the lives many for years to come. “Leto get er done.”

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