Pastor’s 50 years feted
When Rev. Glenn O. McPherson retired after 21 years as minister at the Pikes Peak United Methodist Church, he liked it so well that he stayed on as pastor
emeritus. That was in 1979.
At the services Sunday, Aug. 3, McPherson, now 96 years old, will be honored for his half-century with the church at 2927 W. Pikes Peak Ave.
“He has been such an important part of our church and our lives for the past 50 years,” said LaVada Brown, whose own history as a member of Pikes Peak United Methodist goes back almost that far. “Many members will recall times when he touched our lives and he responded promptly with love, humility and understanding.”
With his wife Audrey (who was to pass on in 1970) and two children, McPherson came to the church in 1958 from his previous assignment in Peetz, Colo. He had served there for 15 years. McPherson recalls asking Lester Clark, then the owner of Clark's Service Station on West Colorado Avenue, if he thought the church members would like him. “Did they like you in Peetz?” Clark asked him. Told that they did, Clark replied, “Then they'll like you here, too.”
One member even constructed a pedestal ahead of time for McPherson (who's not much over 5 feet tall), to stand on behind the pulpit. The word had gotten out, he smiled, that the new preacher “is a short guy.”
Looking back on the years now, McPherson described Pikes Peak Methodist as “a small church, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. I always got more than I gave.”
During his tenure from '58 to '79, Brown said the church membership rose from about 100 to 250. The Memorial Windows created above the altar in 1970 are in memory of his wife Audrey, and the Prayer Chapel's “Remember the Lilies” window was dedicated to him in 1997.
The preacher's retirement in '79 gave him more time for his flower-cultivating hobby - he's won numerous county and state fair awards - and for hand-crafting furniture, but it hardly took him out of the ministry. For many years afterward, he was called on regularly to perform funerals and weddings. His record for funerals was 77 in one year, and he estimates an overall total of 1,200 funerals and 900 weddings. “I never turned anyone down,” he said.
Asked about his career in the ministry, McPherson replied, “When I became a minister, I set a goal to help people feel the presence of God. If you do, it makes you different.”
He also believes in personal improvement, even though the years have taken away much of his mobility and most of his eyesight and he also needs to stay on oxygen. “I've tried to be better every year,” said McPherson, who now lives at the Village at Skyline retirement facility. “It's my goal, and I'm still at it.”
McPherson grew up in Rush, Colo., where his father Guy had begun homesteading in 1910. He attended a one-room schoolhouse through eighth grade before the family moved to Colorado Springs. He graduated with Colorado Springs High School's class of 1932, his mind made up to study for the ministry (he would go on to a seminary in Nebraska).
His school days left him with a lasting memory. The school band (he was a drummer) took a trip to Tulsa, Okla. There were 40 bands in all, and the band leader was none other than John Philip Sousa. The famous march composer, who would die in 1932, “could barely lift his arms, but he led the band,” McPherson said.
One of his children, son Paul in Wisconsin, plans to drive to town on his Harley-Davidson in time for Sunday. The services will be 10:50 a.m. to noon, and the public is welcome.
Westside Pioneer article