As I sat on the back wall in that log church Sunday, December 30, one glance across the pews revealed the Agape love Pastor Glen Floyd so often speaks about. Political dignitaries, postmen, grocery sackers, Walmart greeters, students, mechanics, local business owners and even pastors from other churches were all sharing space so as to return Mr. Floyd that love.
As he preached his last sermon as Lead Pastor, many heart-felt thanks were poured out to his congregation. It was the same humble gratitude I experienced the week prior during an interview with him.
“To say I started this church would be a lie,” he told me. “I did not. God did. He allowed me to be used to lay the foundation.”
What a refreshing statement to hear coming from a man that has had a hand in leading hundreds of people to salvation through Jesus Christ.
Pastor Glen Floyd has been the lead pastor of Freedom Holy Temple (FHT) on Buffalo Road in Hohenwald for nearly 45 years and says, “It’s been a great journey.”
But a church house is not where this adventure began.
“Church really began on the bus. We’d all pile onto one bus and have spirit filled church as we toured around the country as The Toners singing Southern Gospel Music,” Glen explained.
During these years, he kept a close relationship with his Creator, God. “I promised Him that I’d do whatever He wanted me to.”
Q: What is the story of FHT’s foundation?
A: We were doing a gospel singing in Himestown. Methodists, Church of Christ, Pentecostals, Baptists were all together, having revival. As in revivals, the Holy Spirit got to moving, and so did tongues, hands and feet as people spoke in tongues and danced around the place. It turned out to be “a bit much” for some folks, and the revival got cut short. Attendees came up to me and asked if we could have it in our basement. It was unfinished and completely bare, but I felt the nudge, so I said yes.
That next night, we had 38 people in the bottom of our home. That was in 1974, and by the time I felt God leading me away from that, three years later, we had seen 150 people coming together to worship and I was blessed enough to baptize about 50 people.
All of a sudden, I felt God leading us away from the basement into a church house. I didn’t know a thing about organizing a church or leading a body of people, so I wrestled in my spirit until He asked me, “Are you a liar or did you tell the truth?” I knew exactly what he was talking about: My promise to do whatever He wanted me to.
So, we bought the property. It was all grown up with brush, so we cleared off a small space to have barbecues. The Toners would sing and people would come out to hear Southern Gospel music and eat. Those were good times. At one time, we barbecued five whole hogs, 250 half chickens and mutton!
We got the church built and the first thing we did was dedicate the Holy Temple to His glory. Freedom, because it’s free. He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.
Q: What is one of your best memories?
A: Being able to baptize my mom and dad. For most people, the transformation is a process. Their lives were changed immediately. Being able to baptize them is something I will never forget. That, alone, would have been enough to have me shouting through the ages. And, yet, he continues to pour out blessing after blessing.
Q: What has been “your message” all these years?
A: Charity. Agape Love. Whatever I preach on, it always comes back around to love. If you have all the gifts of the spirit, done all things according to the word but have not charity, you ain’t nothing but a bunch of racket. Your actions must match your words. The devil can’t copy that. We don’t have to agree on anything, but we must keep agape love. It’s Christ’s love for us, and we should have that for others.
Q: With nearly 45 years of experience, a wealth of knowledge must lie inside of you. What is advice you would give to anyone speaking God’s word?
A: “Don’t ever stop preaching the cross. Thank God for the miracle of His birth, but it is so very important to remember the sacrifice he made. He was born into sin, never sinned and then died for us to be forgiven for our sins. Wow, what a serious, genuine love.
Q: What are your retirement plans?
A: Well, it’s definitely not to step on any toes or try to take the place of anyone. I plan on enjoying my time as Senior Elder. Everything I do is for this church and for the family that belongs to it. When you’re pushing 80, it’s time. I’ll be here until I die, and even then, I’m gonna be buried right across the street. So, I’m not going anywhere.
“I don’t know why God would pick some little, old country boy from Rock House down on the creek, but He did. This work has been a blessing to me. I can’t promise much of anything, but I can promise you this: The Lord Jesus Christ love you; no matter what.”