Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Rev. Warner & Glenda Doles

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on August 2, 2013 1 Comment

Xulon Press authors Rev. Warner & Glenda DolesIn a first for our Successful Author Spotlight series, we feature a husband and wife, Rev. Warner and Glenda Doles, who are both successful authors with Xulon Press. Pastor Warner Doles has written five books, Kingdom of God is Near, In Defense of the Gospel, The Word Became Flesh, Living with Expectation and most recently,  Letters of Encouragement; Glenda authored The Book of Polly,  a collection of memorable sayings and stories that pass along sage wisdom learned at the feet of her sweet mother Polly. The Doles, who pastor Fraley Memorial Baptist Church, www.fraleymemorial.com, are dedicated to helping others by living an example that can be followed. Glenda’s upbeat spirit and Warner’s low key down-to-earth mannerisms are contagious and disarming. They both speak of the “God of the Second Chance”, as both have been previously married and have just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They want everyone to know that “God doesn’t give up on you just because mistakes are made—God loves us through the mistakes!”

As we began our joint discussion, we talked about their different paths to Christ. Pastor Doles shared “My salvation occurred at age twenty-nine: salvation and calling are not separate. About three years later, driving from Ft. Lauderdale, God said “this is what I want you to do”. I thought “this is a huge undertaking and I’m not prepared for it.” My first sermon was on Ephesians 1:1-4. I really didn’t study much for it. I thought God would fill up the thirty minutes I had allotted. It lasted 5 minutes! I learned that day– you’ve got to prepare. He calls us to prepare the message. I went to seminary after that and studied the Word.”

Sister Glenda shared a much different story. “I was saved just under age 10 and have always been in the church (she has played piano for the same church for 30+ years) but have not always been in the will of God—there’s a difference!” she said.

As we delved into the conversation, I asked them “What one past experience changed the course of your life?”

Glenda responded “I’ve always been an “outgoing, never meet a stranger” kind of person. I worked for Duke Energy Utility Company for 36 years, sales and marketing, I spoke inside the company only. In 1995, a friend cancelled at a speaking engagement and asked me to speak for her. I said “I don’t do that!” My friend said “just think that you are doing this inside the company.” It was in Hilton Head, and I was surprised by the great response. Now I am across the country, travel and meet people and make people laugh. I do corporate training, motivational speaking, and “Ladies’ Night Out” events. I wrote the book about mom to talk about what we need to tell this generation.” She went on to share “My daughter booked me to speak at her company’s annual event. We have different last names, and she didn’t tell anyone that I was her mother. After it was over, and I did so well, she announced to everyone “This is my Mom! I can’t believe how good she was!” Glenda laughed as she told that story.

Rev. Warner Doles

Rev. Warner Doles

Pastor Doles answered the question with a very different experience. “It happened to both of us- we both experienced a divorce. It can be devastating to your future. But the hand of God was always there. I resigned from my church, but I was able to eventually get back into ministry. Twenty-one years ago, God called me to this church. It was a small crowd. We knocked on doors. Now membership is right at 600. People are saved. People who have experienced divorce find their way to our church…we love them and accept them and do not judge them because of divorce– we love them through it all. We have a church that is like “lepers telling other lepers where to find bread”. We are a group of beggars living among people, looking for that bread of God. In the story of the ten lepers…Jesus said, “Where are the other nine?” We have been blessed by our Lord. I am 72 and feel 52.  Because of Glenda’s love, I know the love of God. My mantra is “Trust God—just trust Him.”

When I asked them “What is your writing method when you start a project?” Glenda answered: “Statements, lessons mom taught me – another book I am writing is “Living at the Preacher’s House—You Can’t Make this Stuff Up!” I made a simple outline, after I had the notes and statements but I was terrified to write a book. My husband encouraged me “to just be Glenda when you write. Just write like you are telling a story. Put down some sentences. Make a one line sentence and just build from there. It will work.”  I wanted people to know the Christian instruction that I got from my mom. Dad was a Christian but mom was the leader of the family. I wished the children could sit at my mom’s feet and learn, like in Titus, and the Lord said to me “they will have to sit at your feet and you will have to tell them for your mom.”

Glenda Doles

Glenda Doles

Pastor Doles shared “when I write, I will write a chapter and have my wife sit on my lap and read it out loud to me. When I was in seminary, Bob Vale was the professor. He challenged us to “Try to do a page a day. Don’t force yourself to do a bunch of writing beyond the inspiration you have”. I don’t try to wear myself out, my brain, whatever I feel that God is giving to me that day, that’s what I write. I spend two or three hours writing and then I quit. I don’t write every day. It’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. I was in sales for a number of years, and you know when you should ask for the sale. Pace yourself!”

“What is the most important life event you have had?” was my next question to this couple.

Pastor Doles reflected “Disappointment and failure that I felt in the breaking up of a marriage– that helpless, hopeless feeling that I had. Going to bed in the evening, couldn’t sleep for days and weeks. It ate me up. Sometimes, I still have almost nightmares.”

He continued. “The country church asked me to be an interim pastor. After a while, I noticed the search committee was not going out to see other people. They began to share how much they wanted me to be their pastor. I felt that I had to tell them that I had been divorced, expecting that this would change their mind about asking me to pastor the church. One little lady said, “Preacher, are you perfect? Well, neither are we?” and they asked me to be a pastor once again—something I thought that I would never again be after I had resigned my church due to the divorce. Then I had to resign that church, due to my wife’s work relocation. I was asked to come preach for one sermon. Then they asked me to preach a few more times. And then I never looked back and became their pastor. I have learned that Love is behavior, love is conduct. If you love me like you treat me–Your actions tell them that you love them.”

I asked them both “What message do you want shared by the story of your life?”

Glenda shared “Always be open to what God is leading you to do. Don’t ever stop listening for His call.  Never say never! God’s been there through the toughest times of my life. Don’t ever close your heart and mind to what God is calling you to do. You can make a difference to somebody. In 1966, I was Miss Thomasville, North Carolina—I thought was going to be my finest hour. But I found that I was my finest when kneeling with a friend at the altar. We’re gonna trust God.”

Pastor Doles shared “Being a pastor, I Kings 19. When Elijah had that spectacular moment and then Jezebel threatened. Elijah was despondent. The Lord came to me and said “what are you doing here?” “Warner, what are YOU doing here, what are you DOING here?” And finally, “Warner, WHAT are you doing here?” Three ways God spoke. God had not finished with me.”

I asked them “What would you tell others about your relationship with Christ that would inspire them?”

Glenda reflected.”It’s so personal. You don’t realize how personal He wants it to be. Practice the presence of God. Sometimes, I am driving down the road just talking to God. I talk to Him constantly and He talks to me.”

Pastor Doles responded “He was so human and yet without sin. Sometimes people make a lot to do about the divinity of Jesus and not the humanity. They don’t remember that He knew what hunger pains were. He was subject to all the physical failings that we have. He knew what temptation was. Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Scripture says “Satan left Him for a time”…the temptation testing was not over. He lived with it and dealt with it every day. He was 100% man also. In Gethsemane, the thought of crucifixion had Him terrified. His humanity was shown when He spoke to His Father, “if it be Thy will, let this pass”– but He was obedient. Paul spoke in Philippians 2. Paul said “He was like us in every way, obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”. Everyone knew what crucifixion was like. Paul said He was obedient, even unto death, the death of the cross.”

I asked them my signature question “What will they write on your gravestone that will sum up your life?”

Surprisingly, Pastor Doles spoke up first. “Faithful in spite of things – he was faithful!”

With her usual energetic upbeat manner, Glenda responded “She lights up a room! The room gets brighter when she walks in!”

Sister Glenda was called away to take a phone call from a parishioner, so we ended the conversation with Pastor Doles reflecting on “What is your theme scripture and why?”

“In the Old Testament, Isaiah 26:3 “Thou hast kept him in perfect peace whose life is staid on thee”.  In the New Testament, 1 Peter 5:7 “cast all your care on Him for He cares for you.”

I brought our conversation to a close with this pastor who is grateful for the God of the Second Chance by asking him “When you enter the pearly gates…what do you want to hear your Father say?”

Pastor Doles got quiet and I could sense his spirit was contrite and humble as he whispered…

“My son, enter into the kingdom that has been prepared since the foundations of the world—welcome home!”

As I reminisced about my time with the Doles, I was grateful that God had given both of them a second chance— because this world, and especially the congregation of Fraley Memorial, would not be the same without their pastors Warner and Glenda Doles. Whether it’s her effervescent personality who “never meets a stranger” or Pastor Doles’ calming effect as he soothingly shares his words of wisdom, this couple truly lives their message of Love in Action.

And I am sure, if I lived close enough to visit, Fraley Memorial would have another member who was thankful for second chances!

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About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”…in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan’s books “One Unexpected Event – How Would Your Life Change?” and its sequel “One Unexpected Event – Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

Comments (1)

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  1. avatar Barbara L. Vanderstel says:

    I can relate with so many things. One sentence at a time and just expand on the idea. I’ve gone through a divorce and felt like a failure. I’ve gone through severe depression in the 70’s for a few years. My Mum passed away, went through divorce, got married again, and had a baby girl without a right hand. I gave my life to the Lord in 96 however I had a family of four and I never gave them any direction as far as Christian up- bringing, before that. which is sad. The biggest and most powerful thing I have ever tackled is achieving my diploma through the writing course, and then publishing my book through Xulon Christian Publishing. I believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) My God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)….so I’m enjoying the journey. I want to be a sponge for the Lord and believe that one person can make a difference.

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