Donald (Don) Owen Long born in Hartford, CT on May 16,1942 died at the age of 78 years old in Fitchburg, MA on Wednesday June 3, 2020.
The United States had entered World War II on December 7, 1941. Don’s Dad, Glendon was in the Connecticut National Guard and the unit was activated right away. Shortly afterwards his Dad was sent to Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific theater. Then, Don’s mother, Alice took himat 1 ½ along with his 6 year old brother, Robert and 8 year old sister, Janet by train to Florida where they remained with other wives and young children until his father returned from the war 2 years after Don was born.
Don’s father remained in the military after the war and all his upbringing was on military bases in Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Connecticut, Germany, and Carlisle PA. Don graduated from Frankfurt American High School in 1960. He attended Union University in New York and received his Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1969.
Don and his first wife Beverly (Bev) Noble were married on August 7, 1965. They were married for 23 years and had five children together; Scott, Randall, Patricia, Deborah, and Deana. During these years, Don and Bev pastored a number of churches together. Their first was the Congregational Church in Essex, MA while Don was still finishing his pastoral training at Gordon Conwell Seminary. They then moved on to pastor in Dracut, MA and Lowell, MA. As they moved to Townsend, they were part of the original group of couples to establish the Protestant version of Marriage Encounter. As this season came to end, they took on the pastorate of Christian Fellowship Church, with services in Worcester, MA, Hartford, CT, and Billerica, MA.
As Don and Bev were finishing their time at Christian Fellowship Church, they began to get very connected with the Word of Faith Movement, being inspired by folks like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jerry Savelle, and others. Out of this came their own Faith Alive radio broadcast out of Chicopee, MA. This later became the church of Faith Alive (that included Faith Alive School of Ministry), with locations in Millbury, MA, Fitchburg, MA, Amesbury, MA and Willimantic, CT.
On July 16, 1988 Donand his wife, Donna Picard were married. They were married until his passing. They had a daughter together, Jordan along with raising Justan, Ashleigh, and Tiffany. Recently, Don and Donna took on permanent guardianship of a 5-year-old little boy, Gabrien.
From 1994-2007 Don worked at Digital/Compaq/HP. From 1994 to 1996 Don and Donna pastored People’s Church in Ashburnham. Immediately following this season, they started Faith Christian Ministries. After meeting at a number of rented facilities, the church was able to acquire the former, “Agudath Achim” synagogue in Fitchburg, MA.
Don, Donna, and Jordan took their first international mission trip to Haiti in January 2003, filling them with a heart and passion for the poor and needy. In 2004, Don took his first trip to Israel birthing a greater vision to support the people of Israel and to have the church dig deeper into the Jewish roots of their Christian faith.
In addition to the many children he raised, and so many others that called him “dad”, “uncle”, and “saba”, Don is also survived by an older brother Robert and his wife Judy, and an older Sister Janet, by sons and daughters-in-law (Tanya, Timothy, Scott, Nicole, Gilbert, Heidi, and Sara),13 grandchildren (Taran, Morgan, Tia, Ariana, Andrew, Natanel, David, Noah, Jacob, Christopher, Anthony, Jonathan, andMalkiyah), and 10 great grandchildren (Kendryk, Ayden, Peter, Tamina, Calie, Ryleigh, Natalee, Alexandria, Racheland John)
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