By Gerald Harris
HIGH FALLS – Earlier this month Glenn Canup was called as pastor of First Baptist Church of High Falls. Prior to his call to the High Falls church, Canup was serving as executive pastor of Mabel White Baptist Church in Macon.
The High Falls pastor has a stirring testimony. He explained, “Although raised in church until I was fourteen, I never had a personal relationship with Christ until I was 16. About four months after my sixteenth birthday, I survived a very serious car accident. My father arrived at the scene of the accident and told me God was watching over me and that He spared my life for a reason.
A few weeks after the accident, a couple of my friends invited me to a “Back-to-School” lock-in sponsored by Eagles Landing First Baptist. A band kicked off the event with a concert and the lead singer of the group asked if anyone wanted to turn their life over to Christ. I accepted the invitation and made a decision to follow Christ. What I had anticipated as a night of fun turned out to be so much more.
“Since I was raised in church, I had always known what Christ did for me, but I never did anything for Him. I made a commitment to devote my life completely to Him and that night I became a Christian. Pastor Tim Dowdy baptized me at Eagles Landing First Baptist Church.
“Four months later, I accepted the call to dedicate my life to vocational ministry. My father was correct. God had spared my life for a reason.
“After I finished high school, Pastor Dowdy gave me my first ministry opportunity as a summer intern, and the church paid me $100 a week to lock the church building and file the pastor’s sermons.”
Canup served the Mabel White congregation for over nine years and led the people to develop and execute strategies to translate the senior pastor’s vision into action. He developed and managed the church’s budget, calendar, and facilities, filled the pulpit in the pastor’s absence, and served as the chaplain for the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.
For the past five years Canup was the volunteer preaching pastor for the Central State Prison in Macon. His duties included preaching on the first Sunday evening in each month, leading and directing the worship services for more than 250 inmates, and coordinating a ministry team of 15 men from the Mable White church to be involved in the ministry to the inmates.
In addition to serving Mabel White, Canup has also served several other Georgia Baptist churches including North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville where he served as minister of adult education. In October of 2002 to September 2005 he served as the minister of new member assimilation at First Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Bill Bryan, renown church growth leader and mentor to young pastors, now deceased, was a considerable influence in Canup’s life. He stated, “He invested in me for about 15 years of his life. I named my son, Alistair ‘Bill’ in his honor.”
Over the past thirteen years Canup has led workshops throughout Georgia and across the Southeastern United States to train senior pastors, ministry staff, and other church leaders to develop and organize their Sunday School, discipleship, and outreach ministries to more effectively carry out the Great Commission.
Canup has held numerous leadership positions in both the state and national Baptist Conventions. He has served as the president of the Georgia Baptist Association of Christian Educators and president of the Southern Baptist Convention Metro Minister of Education Association.
The new High Falls pastor has an Associate of Arts degree from Truett-McConnell, a Bachelor of Science degree from Brewton Parker College, a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Luther Rice Seminary.
Glenn and his wife, Linda, were married in June 2003 and in addition to their five-year-old son, ‘Bill,’ they have a two-year-old daughter, Lydia Nicole. Linda has been employed by In Touch Ministries, the worldwide preaching ministry of Charles Stanley, since 2003 and currently serves as their Digital Content Strategist.
Glenn McCall, who leads the Men’s Ministry for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, served as the interim pastor at High Falls and has indicated that Canup has the gifts and ability to make the church an excellent pastor.