Pastor Garwood heard the call into full time ministry and entered Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, in the fall of 1975. In April 1978 he received a solemn appointment from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Board for Missions to serve in the Lutheran Church in the Philippines. Ev was conferred the Master of Divinity in 1979 and was ordained on February 17, 1980 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Candon, Ilocos Sur, the Philippines.
As evangelistic missionary he began new work and during his first nine years as a church planter he established five congregations in Northern Luzon. In addition, he served his district as instructor and coordinator of Theological Education by Extension for the Lutheran Theological Seminary of the Philippines from 1982 to 1988. In 1988 the Lutheran Church in the Philippines called him to serve as professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Baguio City.
In 1992 the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Mission Board reassigned Ev to a new challenge in urban ministry in the city of Manila. While in Manila he also served on the board of directors and as chairman, for the Concordia Children’s Services, an orphanage and ministry to street children.
The Garwoods returned to the U.S. October 1995 and from March 1996 to January 2001 he served as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Omaha, NE. In April 2001 he was called by the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the Lutheran Church as Mission Developer to Dayton, NV, where he established the River of Life Lutheran Church.