Conrad N. Glover
Conrad Nathan Glover (October 27, 1895 - April 3, 1986) was a Missionary Baptist clergyman from Arkansas who played a major role in the development and promotion of his denomination from its founding in 1924 until his death sixty-two years later.
Born near rural Prattsville in Grant County in south Arkansas, Glover was the son of Robert W. Glover (1866-1956), who served in both houses of the Arkansas General Assembly, and the former Mary Ann Young (1870-1953). At the age of eighteen, he professed his faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized at the Harmony Missionary Baptist Church in Prattsville. Glover was a rural mail carrier from 1915 until 1951; during much of that time his father, who was originally Methodist, was the postmaster. During World War I, Glover served for two years in the United States Army, having attained the rank of sergeant. In 1922, Glover surrendered to the call to the ministry at Big Creek Baptist Church in Sheridan, the seat of Grant County.
In 1925, Glover married the former Gladys Rushing; the couple had one daughter, Mary Beth Glover Wilson (born 1940). When the since defunct Missionary Baptist College opened in Sheridan in 1919, Glover was among the first eight students enrolled, along with his lifelong friend, A. T. Powers, a native of Comanche near Brownwood, Texas. Glover remained with the college until 1933 either as a student or a professor. In 1925, he received the Bachelor of Theology degree; in 1930, the Associate of Arts in Bible; in 1931, the Associate of Arts in Secular Education and the Doctor of Divinity. From 1926 to 1934, Glover was the secretary of the board of trustees of Missionary Baptist College. When Missionary Baptist College closed in 1934, its work was superseded by the Missionary Baptist Seminary, owned and operated by the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock. From 1934 to 1971, Glover was vice-president of the seminary, which conferred its first degrees upon on him in 1937, Doctor of Church History and Doctor in Bible.
When the American Baptist Association was organized on December 10, 1924, Glover was a delegate or messenger from the Big Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Sheridan. He had previously attended the "unification meeting" at Texarkana in March 1924. Thereafter until his death, he missed only two ABA sessions. He was moderator of the Pine Bluff Association for twenty-five years, beginning in 1939, and he moderated the state association meetings from 1942 to 1948. He was the president of the American Baptist Association from 1941 until 1946, and then by his request for one more session in 1952 after a split developed in the association. For the rest of his useful life, Glover was the associational parliamentarian. He was the chairman of the AMA Planning and Building Committee that developed the bookstore and printing shop which still functions at 4605 N Stateline Avenue in Texarkana, Texas. To many, his ministerial workload would have seemed crushing, for he still met his postal duties until 1951, a situation referred to as a "bivocational pastor". At the time, no Missionary Baptist pastor earned more than the $100 gross per month paid to Ben M. Bogard, a leading figure in the denomination, by the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock, sponsor of Missionary Baptist Seminary.
Glover launched his first pastorate in November 1924 at Little Creek Church in Sheridan, Arkansas. In 1925, he was also in service as the pastor on a part-time basis of two other nearby churches. Therefore, he was simultaneously the pastor of three churches—Little Creek, 1925-1926, Fairview in Saline County, 1926-1927, and Smyrna in Lincoln County, 1926-1927. In 1926, he led in the organization of what is now the Olive Branch Baptist Church in Pine Bluff and continued as pastor there until 1931, when he accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in Sheridan, which then held services on two Sunday mornings per month but every Sunday evening. He preached at Harmony Church in Prattsville, where he had surrendered to the ministry, the other two Sunday mornings and was hence considered half-time at each congregation. From 1931 to 1947, Glover was the pastor of the Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church near Rison in Cleveland County for two Sunday mornings and one Saturday evening each month. After leaving First Baptist in Sheridan, he was quickly called by the Philadelphia Missionary Baptist Church near Prattsville, where he pastored for another eight years. He was also called as pastor of Sardis Missionary Baptist Church at Grapevine in Grant County, where he served from 1939 until 1951. During the same period, he served Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Prattsville, where he preached on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. From 1945 to 1947, Glover held still another pastorate at the Springhill Church, now a Southern Baptist Convention congregation at Greenbrier in Faulkner County, Arkansas.
In 1939, Glover led in the organization of First Immanuel Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff and served there until 1940, when he started what became First Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Gould in Jefferson County. He was the pastor at First Landmark from 1947 to 1953, when he assumed the leadership of the Bethany Missionary Baptist Church west of Pine Bluff. After serving at Bethany for twelve years, Glover planned to retire from the pastoral ministry. However, the Marlow Missionary Baptist Church, ten miles north of Sheridan, called him as pastor, and he served there from 1963 until 1968.
Collectively, Glover spent forty-four years in pastoral work with sixteen different south Arkansas congregations until 1968, when he determined to devote his last years to writing, lecturing, and evangelism through the Pine Bluff Association. He was present and assisted in the founding of the Texas Baptist Institute in Henderson, Texas, where A. T. Powers was on the faculty in the early 1950s; Florida Baptist Institute in Lakeland, Florida, and the Oxford Baptist Institute in Oxford, Mississippi. In 1972, he journeyed to South Korea and Japan to assist Dr. Roy Reed in preaching in the missions and organizing a church.
Glover died in 1986 at the age of ninety. He is interred at Philadelphia Cemetery near his boyhood home in Prattsville, Arkansas. Glover's life and ministry is detailed in Conrad N. Glover Memoirs: A personal account of the life, labors, and accomplishments of Conrad Nathan Glover, published in 1982 by the Bogard Press in Texarkana, Texas. Glover joined A. T. Powers in writing The American Baptist Association, 1924-1974, a history of the denomination, released again in 2005. He co-authored Glover's Church Manual in 1983 with another denominational colleague, I. K. Cross of Texarkana.
Glover's father was a state legislator; Glover's uncle, David Delano Glover, was an attorney and a member of the United States House of Representatives from the south Arkansas district from 1929 to 1935. The family was affiliated with the Democratic Party.
- Robert Ashcraft, History of the American Baptist Association, pp. 562-564
- Billy Hathorn, "Austin Toliver Powers and Leander Louis Clover: Planting the American Baptist Association in Northwest Louisiana during the Middle 20th Century," North Louisiana History, Vol. XLI (Summer-Fall 2010), p. 127
- Hathorn, p. 133
- Conrad N. Glover. Texarkana, Texas: Bogard Press, 1982. Retrieved on May 2, 2013.
- The Baptist History Collection: Denominational Histories: The American Baptist Association, 1924-1974. stpaulsseminary.com. Retrieved on May 2, 2013.