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Development of the Glide Foundation

Lizzie Glide used the money from oil leases to purchase an L-shaped lot at Ellis and Taylor Streets, in 1929, with the intention of constructing a church and evangelistic center.44 Glide chose the site based on its location in downtown San Francisco, three blocks from the central shopping district and surrounded by hotels and apartment houses, most of which were filled with working men and women.45

Also in 1929, Lizzie Glide established the Glide Foundation and a trust to support it. The purpose of the Foundation was to:

  • advance and foster in San Francisco the Christian Protestant religion, education, and charity; and
  • establish and maintain an evangelistic center and an associated training school in San Francisco for the better training of Christian workers and worshippers.46

The Foundation was established as separate and distinct from the Glide Memorial Church, whose sole purpose was to carry out the “spiritual purposes of the Glide Foundation.”47 McPheeters describes the two entities as “entirely independent and separate organizations; the business of each is managed without interference from the other. While there is the strictest separation in the operation of the two organizations, they cooperate together in their work.”48 This two-pronged structure was the result of research ordered by Glide and carried out by Dr. A.T. O’Rear, who surveyed churches and religious foundations throughout the country.49 Lizzie Glide organized the Board of Trustees of the Glide Foundation (“Board of Trustees”, also referred to herein as the “Glide Foundation”), which first met in late 1929. 50 The original board, appointed by the Pacific Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was composed of the following members:

  • President: Rev. W.J. Sims, presiding elder of the San Francisco district of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South;
  • Vice President: Rev. F.W. Rollins of Fitzgerald Church, San Francisco;
  • Secretary: Rev. A.T. O’Rear, pastor of St. Paul’s, San Jose;
  • Treasurer: Lizzie Glide;
  • • Deaconess: Ethel Jackson, superintendent of Mary Elizabeth Inn;
  • W. Cotton, San Francisco businessman;
  • G.C. Emmons, pastor of St. Paul’s, Fresno;
  • Chief Justice William H. Waste of the State Supreme Court; and
  • Robert Shuler, Los Angeles.51

Early Board of Trustees meetings were held at Epworth University Church in Berkeley, the Mary Elizabeth Inn, and Lizzie Glide’s house in Berkeley.52 At these initial meetings, Lizzie Glide shared her plans for the organization of the Glide Foundation, speaking “very fully of the way in which she had been led of the Lord to undertake this project.”53 The Board of Trustees of the Glide Foundation was incorporated by the State of California on in late 1929. 54

Lizzie Glide continued to be involved with the operation of the Glide Foundation and attended Board of Trustees meetings through August 1931. In 1936, a California Superior Court order declared Lizzie Glide “incompetent” and appointed a legal guardian for her.55 She died in 1938 at the age of 86, leaving a $1,000,000 endowment to the Glide Foundation.56