Glazener resigns from Liberty city council
Paul Glazener is stepping down from one office and stepping up for another.
The 32-year-old, as one of the youngest members ever elected to city council, has reluctantly stepped down to take up the mantle of his father, former Cornerstone Church pastor Mike Glazener as their new senior pastor.
His father died suddenly just a few weeks ago and the young Glazener has been reeling just dealing with the loss of his father, and now being thrust into the leadership role at the church.
Glazener penned his letter of resignation on Nov. 7 to the mayor and city council and made it public Tuesday on his Facebook account.
“I’m writing this letter to let you know that I have made the decision that it is in the best interest of my family, my church, and the city for me to step down from my position on the Liberty City Council,” the letter began.
The former councilman goes on to say how grateful he was to serve the city and “alongside some truly wonderful people.”
He said he would continue to serve the city of Liberty in the future, but in a different capacity.
His resignation was immediate and accepted by city council at their meeting on Tuesday night.
The Liberty City Council will appoint an individual to fill the vacancy created and invites qualified citizens that have a desire to help the community grow and prosper to apply. Council members are responsible for representing the needs of the community, enacting policy and local laws (ordinances), and promote public safety.
Applications are available at City Hall, 1829 Sam Houston and on the city’s website at www.cityofliberty.org.
“I knew that taking on the role as Senior Pastor in the future that I wasn’t going to be able to keep my seat on city council when the time came,” he said. “My intention, before I knew it was coming, would be to not run for re-election prior to taking on a new term,” Glazener said.
That opportunity didn’t happen and was accelerated unexpectedly.
Before he made the decision and made it public, however, he sought counsel.
“I talked to the mayor and other close people who I explained my thought process. To me, I think there are some conflicts that could come and I’m very opinionated when it comes to political issues, even at the local level, but at the end of the day, 98 percent of the things that the council deals with are not eternal,” he said.
“I just felt like it wasn’t something that was going to serve my church to be in that kind of conflict-based situation,” he said.
Glazener said if his election would have been next May, he would have just sat it out and gave up the seat, but his term ends in another year-and-a-half and felt like he just couldn’t fulfil that obligation.
“My workload is crazy trying to transition into my dad’s responsibilities and give up my responsibilities to someone else,” he said.
The long hours to make things work and then emails on sensitive issues coming from the city may have tipped the iceberg.
“I just needed to step aside and let someone who’s life isn’t in a big transition to take that on,” he said. It was becoming more of a distraction to the work at hand.
“I loved being on council and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do it and it definitely let me see from a different perspective what the city faces in challenges,” he said.
Glazener made it clear to the mayor that he wasn’t checking out of the city.
“I want to help and serve the community. This is my home, this is where I went to school, it’s where I’m raising my kids, I still want to serve my community, but in a different capacity,” Glazener said.
“I see how the church can help and be a service to the city after having served,” he said. “A lot of times it’s the time factor or lack of funds.”
Glazener and his family are still grieving along with many of the church members who confided and earned their spirituality under his father’s tutelage.
“It’s day to day. We have our moments,” he said, “but we have to keep moving forward.”
The charismatic church was borne out of the ministry of Ronnie and Sandy Trice at Maranatha Church in Mont Belvieu. At one point, Trice preached and pastored both churches.
In 1998, Mike Glazener was installed as the new pastor and he remained there in ministry for the rest of his life, preaching and reaching the Liberty County area.
“When Trice turned the church over, they created a separate board, changed names, and filed for a separate 501(c)3 designation,” his son said. “That’s our roots is with Maranatha.”
Glazener graduated from Liberty High School in 2005. He ran for city council in May of 2016 at the age of 28 and had begun his second term this last May.
“I think a lot of people liked the idea that a younger guy was taking interest.”
He felt it was important that young people get involved.
“I do think that there’s a generation gap between leadership in our community.”
Glazener believes to bridge that gap will require young people to have character, be responsible, and step up and do it. But he also believes that the older guard will need to teach them and encourage them in the process.
“It’s a new season and chapter in my life and I’m excited about it. We’re just trying to get our feet under us at the church,” he said as he’s spending more and more time at the church.
Shortly after becoming the senior pastor, from the pulpit, he told the congregation that they would take off in the first of the year, but now was a time of grieving and reorganization.
“We’ll have new people in new roles and responsibilities. We’ll return to reaching out to our community at the first of the year,” he said.