pastor retires after 42 years at Abundant Life Church |
Reverend Michael McGuire recently retired after serving more than 40 years as pastor of Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church of Gladewater.
The Abundant Life Church congregation was blessed in 1980 when McGuire and his wife, Glenda, and their two daughters, Shanna Kaye and Marshell Denise, moved to the small East Texas town where he had been elected to join the church as a leader, pastor. and shepherd at age 28.
A divine calling
In the mid-1960s, while a high school student in Arlington, McGuire felt a call to ministry. As a young Christian teenager, he was drawn to school activities that he felt were in opposition to his inner spiritual desires and how he felt in church. He had typical dreams and aspirations like any teenager – and being musically inclined – with an instrument and a voice – he and some school friends formed a band and played in various high school functions.
His Christian parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard McGuire, and their five children – Mike being the eldest – were faithful Saints of the First Pentecostal Church of Arlington, led by the Reverend W. W. Combs, who would later become the father-in-law. of McGuire. .
Still involved in church activities, McGuire played bass in church but still felt a struggle in his mind to play in school functions. Then one night his pastor told him he had to make a decision about where he wanted to use his talent – for God or in school. It was a major decision and a turning point in young McGuire’s life.
It was under the prayers, spiritual direction and tutelage of Combs, his pastor and mentor, that McGuire received his formal training and call to ministry.
Combs appointed McGuire to assist in various capacities at the local assembly. McGuire and Glenda Combs were married on June 14, 1969. With her musical talent joining hers, they became an asset and a blessing to their church and to their future ministry.
McGuire received his local license with the United Pentecostal Church in 1972, later receiving his general license and ordination license. He served as youth director at the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex; Texas District Youth Secretary; Texas District Youth President; and served on the Texas Bible College Board of Trustees.
Abundant Life Church
McGuire began his ministry with Abundant Life Church 42 years ago, with many accomplishments along the way.
A church building was erected at 409 Money Street, with a family life center added later. In 1999 Gladewater’s only Christian school, Life Christian Academy, was established and Glenda McGuire serves as its trustee.
In 2007, McGuire dreamed of bringing prayer home, and the Altar Builders of Texas project was formed; an altar was placed in the home of each member of the church. Currently, over 5,000 altars have been requested, built and shipped across the country and overseas.
McGuire has composed, recorded, and copyrighted over 50 gospel songs at various recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee, and Houston and Tyler.
Building and expanding the work of the Lord has always been foremost in McGuire’s heart. The church now offers end-time ministry courses taught by Reverend Doug Norvell, a national end-time ministry minister headquartered in Dallas. The class, which is open to the public, is at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Family Life Center.
McGuire was inducted into the Texas District Faith Hall this year for his 50 years of service to the United Pentecostal Church International in Texas. He was also honored for 50 years of service in the Milestone ministry of the United Pentecostal Church International.
Passage of the coat
Reverend Mark Whitehead assumed the role of senior pastor of Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church on June 17; McGuire will assume the role of bishop.
Whitehead earned a degree in theology from Texas Bible College in Houston in 1989. He became a licensed minister with the United Pentecostal Church International in 1990 and served as an associate pastor in Oil City, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi. . In 1994, he was elected pastor of Grace Tabernacle in Shreveport, Louisiana, and served in that position until November 2004, when he became senior pastor of First Church in Bogalusa, Louisiana. In 2009, he returned to Natchitoches to pastor alongside his father at Fountain of Life Church.
Whitehead is married to McGuire’s daughter, Marshell, music director at Abundant Life Church. They have three children, Madeline and her husband Michael Sparks of Hohenwald, Tennessee, Brennen Whitehead of Alexandria, Louisiana, and Brinkley Whitehead, a student at Southeastern Louisiana University.
A “Passing of the Mantle” service was held Friday at the church.