The life and legacy of a beloved community servant and pastor was honored Saturday with the inaugural Run Like Chuck 5K, which kicked off at Middlebrooks Park in Bonifay.
Pastor Chuck Glass was known throughout the Panhandle for having a servant’s heart and for taking his ministry far beyond the pulpit of his home church, Northside Assembly of God in Bonifay.
Pastor Glass passed away in a car accident September 7, 2020, just days after his 40th birthday, while traveling to provide supplies that would bring comfort to those affected by Hurricane Laura. Those who knew him say that as evidenced through that one last mission, Glass died as he lived - serving others in the love of Jesus.
“That was his heart – serving others,” said Amanda Marshall, organizer of the 5K. “When we think of the term ‘missionary,’ we often think of people going to another country to tell people about Jesus. Chuck showed us that we can be a missionary in our own community. He taught us that reaching those we see every day is as important as missions overseas. He taught us to love those in our community by showing them compassion and to lend a helping hand whenever needed.”
Although Glass concentrated on serving those in the community, he did work with missions overseas as well, having partnered in July 2019 with Convoy of Hope to lead a group from Northside on a mission trip to Africa, where he set a goal to drill a well at one of the villages the group visited in Tanzania. Although Glass did not get to see that dream come to fruition, the church has since raised more than $14,300 to drill the well and donated it to the project in his memory.
In days following his passing, the community shifted from the shock of his untimely passing to a determination to follow his example. From this, the phrase, “Be Like Chuck” was coined and became synonymous not only with showing genuine love and compassion for others, but with also maintain positivity and standing steadfast in the face of adversity.
Marshall states that the church has held 5Ks as fundraisers in the past but decided to change the race this year to honor Glass’ memory and carry on his vision of serving the community.
“I discussed it with his wife, Miranda, and we came up with the name #RunLikeChuck5K,” she said. “Chuck dedicated his life to ‘running the race’ God set before him just as described in Hebrews 12:1-2 – with a passion for people and missions.”
Around 150 participants registered for the race, which raised around $9,600, according to early figures.
“All of that will go toward Chuck’s vision of sharing Jesus by loving and serving those in our own community,” said Marshall. “Chuck’s motto for Northside was ‘Live to Give, Live to Grow, Live to Go.’ That essentially means we give of our tine, talent, and finances. We grow in our faith. Then we go and spread the love of Jesus in our community.”
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