By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 11, 2017

Thank you, for the many condolences I have received this week after the death of my uncle. Our family appreciates your kindness and the calls from our staff ministers and the texts by our family deacon. I have felt the compassion and care of Highland Hills, and for that I am grateful.

The calling to ministry can be found deep in the roots of my family tree. My uncle served as a Baptist minister for fifty-six years in and around Webster County. He believed in the abundant life of which Jesus preached and worked tirelessly to create a community of compassion and care wherever he lived. If people were hurting or in need, Glenn organized a communal response to whatever the crisis. This took many forms in his ministry. At one time, he was the pastor of the local First Baptist Church, the head of the ambulance service, the civil defense, a mason at the local lodge, and a licensed mortician. Under the right circumstances, he could deliver a baby only to later dedicate the child in worship, or be called to a death only to later officiate the funeral. I can't even imagine.

As a pastor, he didn't judge the town drunk, and he didn't curtsy for the local aristocracy. Some of my favorite Uncle Glenn stories involve nicknames he earned over the years. People around Preston, Georgia, called him "The Mountain." Yes, he was a big man, but also hard to move once he made up his mind. My favorite nickname, was "devil-chaser." Due to the long shadow he cast, I could only imagine how many people he helped chase way their particular devils.

Growing up, I always respected "the Preacher." Thank you for helping me celebrate his life this week.