December 22, 2014

Rev. Glenn Dale Adkins: 1941 to 2012

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHANIE WITHERSPOON

Rev. Glenn Dale Adkins: 1941 to 2012

Frankie & Glenn Adkins 50th Wedding Anniversary on September 23, 2011.

Reverend Glenn or Pastor Glenn, as he was affectionately called, entered into the presence of the Lord on November 18 at his home in Big Bear Lake, with his wife and four of his children at his side.

Glenn was born on July 25, 1941 in Oklahoma City to Claude and Norma Adkins. Claude was an artist who traveled with his family across the country selling his landscape and seascape paintings beside the highways and byways of America.

He has three brothers and one sister. He and his siblings attended school all over the U.S. and started singing and preaching in churches at the age of seventeen. He majored in vocal music in high school and graduated in 1959 from Arvin High School.

Afterwards the family moved to San Diego for a year, then to Texas and to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Glenn stayed and the rest of the family moved back to California.

Glenn met his wife to be, Frances (a.k.a. Frankie), the very first night he visited Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Tulsa. They were married September 23, 1961 and have four daughters and one son. They moved to Oxnard, CA in 1964 where Glenn injured his back while working as a rubbish truck driver and swamper. In the years that followed, he became involved with street ministry all over California, including Haight-Ashbury and Berkeley. He also started and ran a Christian coffee house in Oxnard, CA.

The family moved to Topanga in 1972 where Glenn pastored the Topanga Community Church for fourteen years. While there he ministered to many actors and rock singers, as well as to those with broken dreams and devastated lives. He and his family worked with and sometimes housed at the church, some of the most spiritually and mentally destitute members of our society.

He began witnessing and singing in nightclubs and bars, reaching out to the stars of Hollywood and the street people, teaching many Christians how to do hands-on street ministry. He was Chaplain and soloist for several years for the Beverly Hills Full Gospel Businessmen’s Chapter Meetings.

Glenn also pastored the Fawnskin Community Church in Fawnskin, CA for nine years. He was also Hospital Chaplain for the Bear Valley Hospital for two years and Chaplain for six years for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept.

My uncle is the man the Pharisees would have criticized because of those with whom he kept company. My uncle spent a lifetime of ministry spreading the Good News to those who needed it most.

They include the junkie and the pusher, the prostitute and the pimp, the alcoholic, the gang member, the homeless, violent felons and hardened criminals and the rich and famous.

He was fearless in his outreach because he knew his Protector.

The Singing Evangelist’s “pulpit” was working the Night Shift on Hollywood Blvd, Skid Row, and the corners near nightclubs like The Viper Room and Whisky A-Go-Go.

With his smooth, smokey voice, he would sing Hymns and pass out Gospel tracts to anyone who would take them.

Sometimes he was cursed and threatened, and sometimes the tracts were thrown to the ground, but many times he was able to attract a crowd at 1 a.m., a crowd hungry for something “better.”

When he could no longer stand on the street corners, he secured a motorized scooter to continue the Father’s Business.

When he needed supplemental oxygen, he dragged the tank with him.

Though God seemed to always provide the finances to repair his older vehicles, He more often sent His angels to protect against any harm that could have been caused by balding tires or brakes that were metal-to-metal.

No matter what obstacle stood in the way of his Ministry, whether it was physical, mechanical or financial, Glenn always remained positive and steadfast.

My uncle is the one given two talents in the Parable of the Bags of Gold (Matthew 25:14-30) because he did so much with so little. Do they have You Tube in Heaven? Because if they do, I want to see the one where Jesus says to my uncle, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Glenn is survived by Frankie, his wife of 51 years and four daughters, Sherri Facer, Stephanie Witherspoon, Christine Adkins, Natalie Adkins and son, Steve Adkins, 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

There was a celebration of Glenn’s life on December 8 at Calvary Chapel 713 Stocker Rd. (corner of Stocker & Knickerbocker) in Big Bear Lake. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Lord’s Trumpet, P.O. Box 134113 Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.