Editor's Note: OBU alumnus Glen Redding, a 1976 graduate, is a 2014 recipient of the OBU Alumni Association's Profile In Excellence Award. The award is given to a former student who has "demonstrated recognizable accomplishment in his or her profession, business, avocation, or life service in such a way as to bring pride and honor to the University." Each year, Profile In Excellence recipients are featured in OBU Magazine.
A Passion to Serve Those In Need
Glen Redding remembers fondly how he came to choose OBU for college. He simply knew it was the right place for him. "I always wanted to attend OBU," he said. "I talked to OBU students each summer while we were at camp at Falls Creek, and they reinforced my decision."
Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, he followed his desire and journeyed to Bison Hill to pursue his degree, graduating in 1976. He later graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1978 with a master of religious education degree with a counseling emphasis.
After graduating from Southwestern, he moved back to Shawnee and lived in public housing. As time passed, he ran low on money and told the director he didn't have money for rent. The director informed him they were looking for someone with a counseling degree to be a housing counselor for the authority.
Redding applied and became the Public Housing Manager for the Shawnee Housing Authority. He has remained in that career field ever since. It was in that position where Redding found his calling during that time, borne from circumstances in his own life.
"I have worked in public housing for 36 years," Redding said. "I have always had the idea that my life was to serve others and help to bring about the kingdom. I believe in helping others, so they will believe in themselves and will work hard to get to a place of their own. I have found my calling in the work that I do for housing."
In 1985, he moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to serve as Executive Director of the Stillwater Housing Authority. He has seen the Housing Authority grow from 200 units available in public housing and Section 8 rent subsidized housing, to 134 public housing units and 656 units available for Section 8 housing.
"The most rewarding thing about my job is providing a place to live that is affordable for families to build their lives and futures," he said. Redding said that public housing is temporary help for people and families going through tough times. The experience teaches them to build savings, budget and ultimately reach their goals."
Redding believes strongly that OBU helped prepare him for the success he has experienced in his career. He credits his adviser and professors for making a powerful impact on his life.
"The teachers at OBU taught me to think on my own and make my thoughts, ideas and beliefs, mine," he said.
When away from work, Redding enjoys hunting and fishing. He also loves to travel with his wife Karen and to visit new places, especially ones with historical value.
Redding is a member of University Heights Baptist Church in Stillwater, where he serves as a deacon and chair of the trustees. He is active in the Rotary and the Public Housing Authorities board of trustees, where he works for all housing authorities nationwide. He is the past chairman of the Housing Authority Insurance Group, where he has served on the board since 1989.