By Andrea (Matetic) Osmun g05Published: Nov 01, 2016
Glenn Repp may not know Christ today had it not been for Fort Wayne Bible Institute -- and he didn’t even go there.He believes his connection to Fort Wayne Bible Institute was “God’s providence,” something he emphasizes when sharing his testimony.
Glenn was born in Lodi, Ohio, raised on a farm between Ashland and West Salem, and graduated from West Salem High School in 1949. He went to study engineering at Indiana Tech, which was in downtown Fort Wayne at the time. While he attended Indiana Tech, he worked at a gas station around the corner from the old library. He did not know the Lord at that time.
Meanwhile, a young woman named Vi (Shupp) g50, from Lima, Ohio, got saved in a little Missionary Church in her hometown when her high school girlfriends invited her to attend.
“Vi came from a poor family,” Glenn said. “Her mother was a widow and had a family of four. It was not a well-to-do family.”
A woman from the church saw potential in Vi and felt that Vi should go to Fort Wayne Bible Institute, where some of the other church girls would be attending.
“Her family didn’t have any money for her to do that, but the woman said she’d see to it that Vi could go,” Glenn said.
When Vi arrived in Fort Wayne, she got a job as a nanny for a wealthy doctor’s family and worked her way through college. After graduating in 1950, Vi lived at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), near the library, with 8 to 10 other young women.
“The YWCA was a place where girls could come into Fort Wayne from the surrounding countryside and live in a safe environment while they found a job in the city,” Glenn explained.
This is where God’s providence enters the story. Vi and her friends would often walk past the filling station to get to Gardner’s Drive-in, right down the street from the YWCA.
“One time, there were three or four of those girls, and I somehow was working outside at the filling station,” Glenn said. “Vi and I always joke about who whistled at whom. Our paths did cross, we struck up a conversation, and the next thing I knew, I was asking her for a date.”
Neither of them had a lot of money, so they often went on dates to Snow White, a small cafe on Calhoun. The two of them liked each other, but Vi was concerned that Glenn didn’t know Christ.
“She said, ‘If you’re going to date me, you have to go to church with me,’” Glenn said. “I like to tell kids, when I’m speaking, the power that a young woman has over a man. I thought that would be a small price to pay [to date her].”
When Vi started living at Fort Wayne Bible Institute, she went with her girlfriends to Bethel Church, a small congregation in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne. The pastor, at the time, was Bob Hubbaker, and it was probably 1951. Vi didn’t have a car, but Glenn did. So he would come and pick her up, and they would go to church together.
“After only a few times at the church, one Sunday night after the sermon was over and people were walking out the door, Brother Hubbaker was greeting,” Glenn said. “He took me by the hand and said, ‘How are things with your soul, Glenn?’ It just hit right to the quick.
“I said, ‘Not good.’
“He said, ‘Why don’t we take care of that right now?’ We walked back up to the bench and prayed right through and took care of it right then. That’s when I got saved. All these things came together at the right time, in the right place, and our paths crossed. God had been preparing all these things.”
Glenn and Vi dated for three months and were engaged by the end of May.
“She says I never did propose to her. She’s probably correct,” Glenn said. “We like to say that the way it happened was at Snow White, where we had coffee. I said, ‘I wish we were married, because then I wouldn’t have to take you back to the Y.’ We were married that August.”
After they were married in 1951, Vi worked at the library and Glenn worked nights at U.S Rubber in New Haven until he finished his degree in engineering in 1953. They moved to Texas after Glenn graduated and have been there ever since (except for a one-year work-related move to California).
They now have four children, who are all grown, nine grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
“Life has been good, and God has blessed us abundantly,” Glenn said. “From that time, we had been blessed with so many things. He’s blessed us materially and physically. We’ve had a happy life. Vi has had this little stroke, which has been a setback for us. I’m still strong, and I’m her caretaker.”
Glenn doesn’t hesitate to give credit where credit is due.
“The real story is the providence of God,” he said. “I hesitate to think of what would have become of me if our paths had not crossed.”
Glenn might not know the Lord today had he not met a girl from Fort Wayne Bible Institute.
“She was instrumental in getting me to a place where I got saved,” he said. “That, then has made all the difference.”
Editor’s Note: Do you have a similar story, where you met your spouse through the Fort Wayne campus? We’d like to hear your story and possible share it with others. Please email email@example.com with a brief synopsis.