Prior Experience: Glen Prior’s Journey

January 5, 2018 | Articles, Featured, FMCSC Stories, Leadership

Rev. Glen Prior has been the Assistant Superintendent of Administration for the FMCSC for 13 of the last 16 years. He and his wife, Koni, have been married for 28 years, and together they have two daughters, Evangeline and Analiese. Glen and his family enjoy spending time with one another, whether they are watching movies, sharing life over food, games and music, or going to Disneyland. He loves his Lord, loves his family, and loves his work.

“I’ve accepted the fundamental truth of God and His Christ. Everything else is the journey.” – Glen Prior, November 2017

For Glen Prior, God is real. Not in an intellectual sense, like some sort of logic problem he’s worked out, but in the same sense that the ground under his feet or the air he breathes is real. And just like those things, he knows he’s bound by the reality of God in everything he does. But that wasn’t always the case.

Glen grew up in Southern California in a good home that, while spiritual, wasn’t Christian per se. His father, a chemist by trade and someone who taught him the joy of studying and engaging with the natural world, encouraged him to investigate everything around him and to think critically. When he decided to attend a college preparatory Christian high school, it certainly wasn’t to find Christ, but that’s exactly what happened.

God often uses our passions to bring us to himself, which is exactly how Glen was first confronted with the reality of God in the world and in his life. Glen heard the gospel message many times at school, but it was the love of two teachers that opened the way for him to respond to an invitation to forgiveness. These teachers saw his love for and giftedness in music and encouraged him to join the chapel worship team. It was during prayer with his bandmates that he not only experienced the stirring of his heart by the Spirit, but also saw God answer their prayers in concrete, real ways. He knew his experience wasn’t simply coincidence, and the profound reality of God required him to make a choice to jump in or not. Glen chose to pursue God and he credits the early experience of being discipled as one of the most formative and lasting investments anyone has made in him.

When you ask Glen if he’s ever doubted the existence of God after those experiences, he’ll tell you, “It’s not like that. There are dark times. There are quiet times. There are vibrant times but it doesn’t change your faith. I’ve accepted the fundamental truth of God and His Christ. Everything else is the journey.”

“I didn’t have a pathway, so it took me a while to actually find the on-ramp into ministry.”

Sometimes, when you’re in the beginning of the journey, the path is hard to see. In college Glen continued to explore what it means to live in a world where God is real. If God loved him and had a plan for him, his only response was to follow, no matter where God led. His roommates, also on a similar journey, encouraged him to keep seeking, even if they didn’t know what that meant or where God was leading.

With full-time ministry still not on the horizon, Glen left college and entered the workforce to discover that God was there, too. Whether he was selling insurance or working as a janitor, Glen became convinced that the sacred and the spiritual couldn’t be separate because Christ was there in everything he did, and everything he did was for the Lord. It was in those days that God was preparing his heart to see the work of the church through fresh eyes.

It should be no surprise that Glen would find his path to full-time ministry and the Free Methodist Church through music. The worship leader at the Lamb’s Fellowship in Temecula under the leadership of Marty Edwards invited Glen to play keyboard with the worship team, and it was through this discipleship experience that Glen found his pathway to ministry. Starting as a lay member, serving on the church board, then moving into administration, he was affirmed in his perceived calling by God and began serving as a pastor.  As Glen grew in his experiences he soon discovered that God could use his critical thinking skills and love for the church and was given the opportunity to serve as an executive minister under Superintendent Steve Fitch at the conference office.

“I think the voice of the Free Methodist Church is as relevant today as it was when it began.”

For Glen, being known and feeling connected are vital. In his experience, you can be reading, praying, and connecting individually but there’s always a question of how real things are when you’re isolated. It’s through community that we see how real God can be: changing lives, healing broken relationships, and breaking down spiritual strongholds. The voice of the Free Methodist Church continues to inspire him and his journey to follow after God with all his heart, understanding that we will never know what we believe until we see what we do.  

Through his work as Assistant Superintendent for Administration in the Free Methodist Church in Southern California as well as his work as acting Superintendent for the OASIS Conference, Glen has witnessed the movement of God through the church. Whether in the complexity of day-to-day operations or the quiet moments of prayer, Glen continues to see that God is real throughout the work he shares with his brothers and sisters.

The voice of the freedom, the voice of the values that the FMC began with – of the equality of all persons together, of freedom from the bonds of slavery in every way it is experienced – are exactly what the world needs to know today.  I think the Free Methodist Church has sought to be a prophetic voice for these freedoms.

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