Tribute to George F. Glass
- UTS Communications
Mr. George F. Glass, leader, missionary, and UTS Alum was honored by the Unification Theological Seminary on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. The special tribute, hosted by UTS Student Life, was attended by over 70 participants, including members of the Glass family, FFWPU leadership, fellow missionaries, UTS alumni, staff, faculty, students, and others whose lives have been touched by George.
Steven Boyd, UTS Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Life, opened the program and introduced UTS alum Dr. Michael Kiely who served as the MC for the tribute. The tribute began with a heartfelt musical selection performed by Dr. and Mrs. Kiely and an opening prayer offered by Mrs. Kiely. Dr. Chung Sik Yong, FFWPU Regional President for North America, set the tone for the program by acknowledging George’s profound accomplishments as a missionary and leader and the inspiring example he set for all who crossed paths with him.
The majority of the program consisted of a reading of biographies of George’s life by Pastor Crescentia DeGoede and testimonies from Mr. David Teo, Mrs. Ai Kun Tan, Mr. George Glass, Jr., Dr. Andrew Wilson, and Mrs. Genie Kagawa. UTS President Dr. Thomas Ward offered uplifting closing remarks and the program was concluded in prayer by Dean Ute Delaney, UTS Registrar and Senior Associate Dean, followed by a slideshow of photos from George’s life.
UTS Student Life would like to thank all who attended the tribute to George F. Glass. We send the Glass family our deepest condolences and hope that through this tribute, we may offer our UTS community a glimpse into the remarkable life of Mr. George F. Glass.
We invite you to read a brief bio of George’s life and a collection of written testimonies below.
George F. Glass was born on September 4, 1946 and he completed his time on earth on June 18, 2020. George had a very full life; he joined the Unification movement in 1972. He worked at the National Headquarters and in 1975 was appointed by UTS Co-Founders Father and Mother Moon as the American Missionary to Singapore; he later also served as the Regional Director of Southeast Asia and continued in that role until 1982. Following this he became Director of the World Mission Dept. and, in that capacity, he traveled all over the world supporting missionaries in the field.
In the 1990s, George coordinated speaking tours at universities and other projects for the True Children and True Mother. From 2002-2016 George was a student data analyst at the Montclair Public Schools system in Montclair, NJ. After retiring from the Montclair school district, he went back to school at UTS to earn his Masters of Religious Studies in 2018 and to study Chinese at Rutgers. He entered UTS’s Doctor of Ministry program in 2020. George loved lifelong learning.
George will be remembered for his unending strength, wittiness, righteousness, dedication, devotion, work ethic, selflessness, and love for all things of creation. He felt a special calling to work with people of Chinese descent for whom he felt special respect and love. He and his wife Kumi are the proud parents of two daughters Hye Yon, Jiyeon, and a son, George, Jr., as well as two grandchildren.
George served the Unification Church as a leader in many roles in America and overseas. In the early 1970’s, George was a state leader in New England when I visited his center on a regular basis as an Itinerary Worker IW). Educated in theology, he was a great teacher, communicator, organizer and faithful witness to our True Parents. As an international IW, I met George again when he was a missionary in Singapore, and I visited the Southeast Asian missionaries. I was impressed with his success in building a foundation for our church. I pray that his family will be proud of his many accomplishments and that he can oversee his foundation from “the other side” with great joy. Blessings to Kumi, his children and grandchildren.
I first met Rev. George during the spring semester 2020 at UTS. I was so happy to have met him. I found him to have a true missionary spirit. He shared with me his vision of taking 50 Catholic priests to Africa after graduating from UTS. And he wanted to do missionary work with me in Africa. I was very honored to study at UTS for two weeks with him. Thank you very much. I have also been a missionary to Niger since 1975.
My experience with George Glass, my dear brother
In 1974, I met a young lady at the university, and she told me about Sun Myung Moon and invited me to hear him speak. This was during the 32-city speaking tour in Providence, Rhode Island. I didn’t go to the program but the members in the centre contacted me and invited me to a 3 Day Workshop. I went. I enjoyed it very much especially those amazing lectures, but I had many questions.
I invited myself to the centre the week after and wanted to know why they thought that Sun Myung Moon was the messiah. I was arrogant and bold and wanted direct answers. I intimidated everyone and nobody wanted to deal with me. Then they introduced me to the centre leader and in came George Glass. He was the State Leader in Rhode Island at that time and he was the man in charge.
He told me he could explain. There was no room in the centre to give me a lecture, so he guided us outside and we sat on a small wall and he began to lecture the Second Coming lecture. It started to get dark, but he didn’t stop. He continued to teach until the end. It was so powerful, and it stirred my soul. It made me think deeply about my life and what I was doing with my life. He was very passionate and at the end of the long lecture he looked me in the eye and said:” So Marilyn do you know what you need to do?”. I answered him clearly, “Yes, I have to move into the centre right away.” He was as shocked as I was.
During his lectures I was searching my soul and thinking deeply about my life and where it was headed. I don’t know how much I understood but his lecture moved my soul and my ancestors. I know this was what I was looking for and needed to get involved completely. I had just finished my three year of university and was going home for the summer break. He didn’t hesitate and immediately told one sister to help me and tell me what I should bring when I move into the centre. He then began to give me guidance. He said, “Please remember that Satan is going to use the people you love the most. When you go home you will be persecuted, and they will not understand. So please be ready to stick to your determination and don’t give in.”
With that guidance I went home and faced the wrath of my mother. When I called George from home, he guided me and helped me deal with the negativity of my family and find the way to explain my heart. Finally, my brother could understand and helped my mother and I was on my way back to the centre and my new life.
Honestly, in those days life was so crazy, I don’t remember being with George much after that, but he was always my brother. When our paths crossed again in the future, he was always there for me and I tried to stay in touch as much as possible.
I will never forget George because he was the one that helped me to understand the mission of our True Parents and guided me to start my life of faith. I always trusted him and knew he would guide me in the right way. I know he is with our True Father and probably giving him advice as he did me. That is and always will be our loving George.
I did not have the pleasure of knowing George long, but when we did meet, he made a lasting impression on me. It was in January 2020 when I joined a one-week intensive class taught by Dr. Ward at the UTS campus on 43rd street that our paths crossed. I remember sitting next to George on the first day of class and being immediately drawn into conversation with him. I had no idea who he was or knew anything about his history, but as he started telling me stories of his missionary days in Singapore and other countries, I was enthralled. I remember being very impressed by his depth of understanding of the Divine Principle as well as his love for learning. He was greatly interested in my background as well, and asked a lot about my experience as the child of missionaries growing up in Lebanon. He encouraged me to continue with my studies and develop my full potential. He gave me the push I needed to continue when I wasn't feeling particularly motivated.
After that first day, I sat next to him every day for the rest of the week and we enjoyed conversations over lunch break too. I was glad in my heart to have made a new friend, and hoped to meet his son George someday whom he had talked so fondly about. I was deeply saddened to hear the news of his passing in the FFWP newsletter and sorry that I had never gotten to meet his son in DC, but God it seemed had other plans. Somehow I was able to play a small part in supporting his son to receive the blessing in October, and I strongly felt that George was smiling from the spirit world. My condolences to the whole family. Although I haven't met you yet, I hope our paths may cross some day.
James B. Edgerly
As an early member of the UC, I remember well when George and his talented colleagues left us in 1975 to spread out across the world as missionaries. At that time, George was a widely known and respected member in the US. To us, their departure seemed like a huge setback to the future of our movement.
About 13 years later, I visited Singapore on business. While there, I visited Holy Ground with a couple of the local members (most likely the same members who were on call honoring George last Tuesday). These young members proudly told me the story of their work with George and reported about the severe persecution that they were enduring. I felt so proud to hear about all that George had endured and accomplished.
More recently, I understand that George was passionately concerned with the heroic Hong Kongers who were bravely confronting the CCP with months of daily street protests. Thank you George for your concern over this very important issue, which I shared with you. I sincerely regret not reaching out to find out how we might work on this together.
We will continue to remember you Mr George F. Glass, RIP
Valerie Bradshaw Tembo
I remember our brother from the World Mission Department time. He was in constant communication with my spiritual grandmother Barbara Burrowes Vanprag about the situation in the country, about how he can help. He was truly a son of True Parents. Always kind, considerate, thoughtful and wanting to help push the providence forward. A great brother, He will be truly missed.
Mr. Glass's life has touched and moved so many people, young and old. The Tribute was a stirring testimony of a life dedicated to Heavenly Parents and True Parents. To realize the vision and heart of True Parents, he committed himself to face the challenges of life and love, bearing frustration and grudges with optimism and hope. He suffers when his heartfelt concerns fall on deaf ears for so many leaders who have made a career in "living for the sake of others".
He finds solace in the Chinese culture for there are pragmatic ways of realizing the ideals of heaven that have lasted for centuries. He remembers how True Parents extolled the virtue of shame that is the core of the chinese people.
His family carries that pain and frustration of a man who loves God and True Parents who is a missionary and ambassador of Divine Principle.
My first deep impression of Mr. Glass was the manner he taught the Divine Principle. He gave the best DP lectures that moved all of us. We came from different backgrounds. Many do not have Christian or Bible knowledge. He was able to teach and guide us through to help us understand the significance of each era.
Loved and guided us like a parent, encouraged us in every way, bringing out the best in each of us, giving us confidence in ourselves. It was only years later that I realized he was only 7 or 8 years older than many of us, yet so fatherly towards all of us! Amazing teachings of True Father. Making us confident of who we are and brought out the best in each of us, recognizing our capabilities.
He was an honourable leader who doesn't gossip or talk ill of anyone. When we confided in him, it stopped there.
He also cooked and taught us how to bake and cook certain dishes. One unforgettable Xmas, we were out at various counters selling our famous Il Hwa Korean Ginseng Products. We stopped work early to return to the Centre for Xmas celebration. A Xmas Turkey was waiting for us, cooked by Mr Glass. It was the best Xmas experience.
And, on the business front, he studied and taught us all there is to know about Korean ginseng and its benefits to mankind. He also taught us how to be a good sales person. He also had Shirao-San, a missionary who was one of the top ginseng sales person in Japan, to teach and show us how to sell, from the spiritual perspective. He was a visionary leader filled with many ideas. The few years he spent in S'pore was most unforgettable for all of us.
I met George in the New Yorker Hotel about 1982/3 while he was responsible for the World Missionaries, when I was attending a 100 Day Workshop for Missionaries. I had to stay on in New York for some weeks before I could return home, I had been a missionary in Kenya, but had had visa difficulties so had to return to Britain, where I was working to develop a business for Kenya.
George was incredibly kind and supportive and caring. He adopted me while I was there , making me feel welcome and at home. And I spent many hours helping him, meeting other missionaries who called to see him, and discussing principled topics- personal growth, faith, outreach, experiences etc. He had an openness of mind, great enthusiasm, sincerity and humility.I shall always remember him very fondly for his embracing, parental heart. And I am so glad that his life is being celebrated as he deserves it.