Clinton Clair Glenn Jr.

The Baltimore Sun

The Rev. Clinton Clair Glenn Jr., a former pastor of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Bolton Hill whose activism resulted in the establishment of several educational facilities and housing for the needy, died Feb. 4 of cancer at his Lutherville home. He was 75.

Mr. Glenn, the son of a laborer, was born and raised in New Castle, Pa. After dropping out of Pennsylvania State University, he enlisted in the Navy.

After being discharged in 1956, Mr. Glenn worked in sales and service for the elevator division of Westinghouse Electric Corp.

After earning a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Maryland in 1964, he enrolled at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1967, Mr. Glenn began his career at First Presbyterian Church in Omaha, Neb.

After being named pastor of Brown Memorial the next year, Mr. Glenn launched outreach programs.

In 1969, Mr. Glenn was joined by the Rev. F. Lyman "Barney" Farnham, then rector of Bolton Street's Memorial Episcopal Church, in founding Bolton Hill Ecumenical School.

Also that year, Mr. Glenn befriended civil rights activists the Rev. Marion C. Bascom, who was minister of Douglas Memorial Community Church; the Rev. Vernon C. Dobson, pastor of Union Baptist Church; and the Rev. Forrest C. Stith, pastor of Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church. They coordinated ecumenical interests, community programs and political activities, and established an ecumenical Lenten series in 1969.

They then turned their attention to the Upton neighborhood near Douglas Memorial, and with the assistance of Lena Boone, head of the Upton Citizens Council, formulated a renewal plan and a corporation. The clergymen named it the Greenwillow Corp., with Mr. Glenn serving as its president

"The name Greenwillow was jokingly suggested, the joke being that it was the street noted for its red-light district," said Phyllis B. McIntosh, an old friend and Mr. Glenn's companion of six years. "However, Marion Bascom said, 'Wait a minute. Let's do that. I think we should name it Greenwillow to make an old name good.' "

They were successful in raising millions of federal dollars to build the low-cost housing development.

"The Greenwillow project is still very active," said Mr. Bascom. "He gave a whole lot of effort and life to Greenwillow."

Mr. Glenn then took on an abandoned building behind his church, which he transformed into the Bolton Center, a neighborhood recreation center.

Mr. Glenn also was the driving force behind the establishment of the Brown Memorial tutoring program, Bolton Hill Nursery and a Meals on Wheels program that operated out of the church's kitchen.

In 1973, he founded The Learning Place, a program for selected children from Eutaw Marshburn Elementary School on Eutaw Place.

Bernard J. "Bernie" Wulff, a retired Baltimore architect, was a longtime active member of Brown Memorial and a friend of Mr. Glenn's.

"He was a very strong individual who didn't pull any punches," recalled Mr. Wulff. "His preaching style was very intellectual and scholarly. It gave meaning to what was recorded in the Bible."

In 1975, Mr. Glenn was called to be pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, N.Y.

From 1978 to 1984, Mr. Glenn struggled with a gradual loss of faith and entered a two-year pastoral counseling program at Blanton Peale Psychoanalytic Program in Manhattan.

"I thought it would energize my ministerial life and at the same time equip me to be a better counselor," he wrote in his recently completed autobiography.

Mr. Glenn retired from First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon in 1990 and established a psychotherapy practice in Manhattan.

In addition, he became associated with the Redford Group, later BellRedfordGlenn, where he did psychometrics and career counseling.

After BellRedfordGlenn dissolved, Mr. Glenn and his wife established the International Center for Management Education Inc., which they operated until 1999.

After Mr. Glenn's wife of 47 years, the former Lucille Nott, died in 2001, he remained in New York City until moving to his daughter's home in Bethesda. The next year, he moved into Ms. McIntosh's Lutherville home.

Her husband, Francis Eugene "Gene" Belt, who died in 2001, had been Brown Memorial's organist for many years.

Mr. Glenn enjoyed reading, listening to jazz and traveling to New York City and Tuscany, where he lived several months each year.

A memorial service for Mr. Glenn will be held at 2 p.m. March 7 at his former church, Park and Lafayette avenues.

Also surviving are a son, David J. Glenn of Hawks, Mich.; a daughter, Cynthia D. Souza of Bethesda; two brothers, David Glenn of Conneaut, Pa., and Jim Glenn of Fort Wayne, Ind.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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