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SETTLE, REV. DR. GLENN THOMAS

SETTLE, REV. DR. GLENN THOMAS

SETTLE, REV. DR. GLENN THOMAS (10 Oct. 1894-16 July 1967) was the pastor of Gethsemane Baptist Church who organized and directed the famed African American WINGS OVER JORDAN CHOIR. Born in Reidsville, North Carolina to Rubin and Mary Settle, he moved with his family to Uniontown, Pa. and attended public school. Settle then moved to Elyria, beginning his pastorate as assistant pastor of Mount Haven Church.

Settle moved to Cleveland about 1920, worked as a city clerk, and joined Gethsemane, becoming pastor in 1935. He founded Wings Over Jordan in 1935. It aired locally in July 1937 on WGAR's "Negro Hour." On 9 Jan. 1938 it debuted nationally over the CBS network as the Wings Over Jordan Choir. In 1939 the choir earned national recognition for outstanding radio series rendered by AFRICAN AMERICANS.

In 1940 the choir toured America. Settle was honored for distinguished achievement in improving race relations by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1941 Settle received a plaque from the National Negro Insurance Association for his outstanding contribution as a builder of interracial and international goodwill.

In 1946 Settle legally changed his name from "Glenn" to "Glynn" in order to inherit an islet in the Dan River near Reidsville. He earned his doctor of divinity in the late 1940s. He had moved back to Uniontown by the 1950s.

Settle married Mary Elizabeth Carter in 1917 (d. 1955). They had 3 children, Elizabeth, Glenn H., and Gwendolyn. Settle then married Mildred Ridley in California, ca. 1960. He died and was buried in Los Angeles.