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Early Church History

Glide Memorial Church’s first congregation was transferred from Fitzgerald Memorial Church (960 Bush Street), about six blocks from Glide.78 Fitzgerald Church closed as soon as Glide Memorial Church opened. The Rev. Dr. Julian C. McPheeters was the first pastor at Glide.79 The rest of the first clergy and staff included two associate pastors, three deconesses, two welfare workers, a house manager, and a secretary. The Glide Memorial Church congregation started out with 70 members and grew to 860 within five years.80 By 1946 the church hosted a congregation of 1,700.81

Some of the early rituals and programs at Glide Memorial Church during its first five years included:

  • monthly day of prayer and fasting: First Friday of the month; five devotional services with communion held throughout the day;
  • New Year’s all-night prayer meeting, 11:00PM to 7:00AM;
  • Church Prayer Room, open daily for prayer and meditation;
  • Year-round evangelistic program: Glide workers paid follow-up visits with new church visitors to try to bring them on as full-time members;
  • Pocket Testament League: Glide workers handed out pocket-sized testaments to try to “win individuals to Christ”;
  • weekly radio programs on Sundays broadcast from station KYA: Fellowship of the Air and The Shut-In Circle (for home-bound members); and
  • monthly services at San Quentin Prison, Folsom Prison, and the Reform School for Boys overseen by Glide’s prison pastor.82