Gordon Greathouse graduated from Willamette University in philosophy in 1970, and afterward received a master of divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His work with black and Puerto Rican teenagers in the South Bronx motivated him to dedicate his life to improving the lives of young people.
His marriage to Teca, a Brazilian educator, opened the door to 40 years service as a United Methodist missionary in Brazil. In Belo Horizonte, they developed a model community center, and through it, founded Habitat for Humanity in Brazil. They built the first 200 Habitat homes. Habitat has now worked in 11 states and transformed the lives of over 76,000 people.
Gordon and Teca helped found and direct Shade and Fresh Water, a network of 52 after-school programs for children and teenagers at risk. This network promotes self-development and youth engagement in community problems. They were able to secure 73 full-tuition college scholarships for young volunteers who demonstrated commitment to social justice.
They retired in Brazil and continue to be involved in Shade and Fresh Water. They have three sons who live there.