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About the Founder


Note: The following is an excerpt of the eulogy given by Dr. Daniel J. Tyler at the funeral service of International Seminary’s Founding President, Dr. Glenn E. Tyler.

Dad always said to study and be prepared to speak twice as long as needed, then cut it in half, and keep it “short and sweet.” That will be difficult today because Dr. Tyler was such a great man, and there is so much that could be said about him. He was a beloved brother, a faithful husband and father, a wise grandfather, a trusted friend and counselor. But today I would like to “share with you” some things you might not know about the Founder of International Seminary, Dr. Glenn Tyler.

He was an educator. As a child he walked to school through the northern woods of New Hampshire, until one day in 9th grade a panther stalked him home from class. The next day that same panther followed him again as he walked the 2 1/2 miles from the bus stop to home. After the third day of this, he dropped out of school. Twenty-five years later, while in full-time ministry, he went back and got his G.E.D., then studied for the bachelor degree, then the master’s, and finally, his earned doctorate. He has also received numerous awards and several honorary doctorates.

Dr. Tyler was also a minister. I remember as a child that there were two closets in my parents’ bedroom. One had clothes in it and the other had an altar in it. And we knew that when the door was closed, Dad was seeking God, and we knew not to disturb him during this time, even though to us it seemed like he was in there for days at a time. And I believe he was. In those early days, he spent so much time on his knees that later he suffered with stomach problems as a result.

Dad was also a great preacher, the best I’ve ever heard. He was a preacher’s preacher, and I’ve never seen a more anointed preacher. He preached when he was sick, when he was tired, when there were only a few, and when there were 10,000. Nothing seemed to affect him when it was time to preach.

Finally, Dad was a theologian. He believed and lived as though Christ could return at any moment. It was his blessed hope and he never thought he’d see death. But then a few months ago, we were in a planning meeting and Dr. T. (his nickname) said, “The rest of you can work this out later, because I’m going on a long journey.” Naturally, this shocked us and someone asked him where he was going – on a cruise, a sabbatical, or what – and he replied, “It won’t be long and I’ll be walking the Streets of Gold.”

A few weeks ago he stopped by this church and told Pastor Cox, “If there is going to be a funeral soon, I would like mine to be here at Apopka Assembly.” Early this month, Dr. Tyler wrote several people who owed him money and he canceled the debts, stating “you don’t owe me anything.” On the tenth of this month, he gathered as many of his brothers and sisters as he could for dinner at his house. He told them that he felt Christ would return very soon, and he wanted to make sure each one was ready to go.

Several times in the last few weeks he walked through the Chapel where we have a photograph of his mother and he said, “Mom, I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.” Then last week, he told someone that he had to get the shelves finished in his dining room by Saturday (he died at 2:00 on Saturday) … and did you know that we had to put the lid on the can of wood stain and clean out the brush he was using.

Dr. Glenn E. Tyler was an honorable man, and he will always remain special in our hearts. In closing, I’d like to tell you some of his peculiarities:

He liked to put brown sugar in spaghetti.

He would come in on Mondays and ask (mainly our Baptist employees), “Well did you stay saved over the weekend?”

He used to say, “It’s what I don’t understand that amazes me!”

He said that his students were the “jewels in his crown.” And can you imagine him right now wearing a crown with ten-thousand jewels in it?

He liked roses.

And finally, he liked to take a nap in the afternoon. And so it was on Saturday, August 27, 1988; he worked around the house, ate lunch with Mom, watched wrestling on TV, and as he did so often at home, he lay down on the floor and stretched out for a nap. We’ve seen him like that a thousand times, but this time was different. I believe an angel came and put his arms around Dad and led him through the Heavenly Gates.

Note: The coroner indicated that Glenn E. Tyler did not expire due to a heart attack or stroke as was first thought. Instead, his heart, brain waves, and breathing simply stopped while he was asleep.

After the death of her husband Glenn in 1988, Rebecca Tyler, co-founder, continued to work full-time at the seminary. In mid-2011 she underwent testing at the Mayo Clinic and was diagnosed with a rather rare genetic disease. Though there were no symptoms prior to 2011, this disease had caused severe liver damage, and within 60 days of the diagnosis, she passed away.

Rebecca worked right up to the very end. Like her husband, she was fully devoted to the advancement and education of ministers. Some of her most enjoyable moments were the numerous office visits made by our alumni.