Adventurer, teacher, missionary, child of God, those are just a few of the words that describe 8th grade Lutheran Teacher, John Glanzer.  Mr. Glanzer is one of the Called Teachers St. Luke’s Lutheran Church & School is blessed to have on staff.  Mr. Glanzer hails from Norfolk, Nebraska and has traveled the globe as a Lutheran School teacher and missionary.  In honor of the LCMS Set Apart to Serve Initiative, come with me and discover the rich and sacred vocation of teaching for the Lord!

John Glanzer and his wife on an adventure in Norway.

What do you do at St. Luke’s?  I teach 8th grade for my homeroom class and I also teach 8th grade History and Religion.

How did you find St. Luke’s? My wife and I had been teaching in Utah for 16 years and we thought it was time to go to a new place and experience new ways of teaching.  So, we put our names on the Call List and had a number of different calls but felt God leading us to St. Luke’s.  

Is your wife a teacher as well?  Yes, she teaches in the Media Center.

What gifts has God given you that help you do your job really well? I think patience when you’re teaching middle schoolers is really important.  God has given me the gift of teaching.  Even as a middle schooler and in high school, I remember tutoring other students just to help them out.  It’s always been a gift, the curiosity and desire to learn.  Teaching has been a great career because I always want to learn more and share it with my students.

How many years have you been teaching?  33 years!

The first Missouri Synod Lutheran school in Perry County, MO.

How did you decide on becoming a teacher?  My family has a long history of being involved in Lutheran education, so long in fact, that the very first Missouri Synod Lutheran school was in my great, great uncle’s cabin in Perry County Missouri. As a result, there had always been an expectation that I would be a teacher or pastor. When I went to college I studied Pre-law. I loved debate and the organization that was involved in preparing for debates and so I thought Law would be a natural choice for me. I decided to go Concordia Nebraska my first year as a transition, and while I was there, I found myself more and more with other students who were studying education.  It seemed like God slowly moved me in that direction.  In one of my General Ed classes the professor had us write to each other about what we saw as their talents and how they could use them in a career.  I remember going to the campus mailbox a few days later and there were letters from other students saying how “You should be a teacher” and “I’d love for you to teach my kids”.  That was a big moment when I knew I had to make a change.  God always led me in that direction even if I was fighting it a little bit.

John Glanzer with author, John Pointi when he visited St. Luke’s.

Was there something that helped you hone in on your patience with the kids or did you always have it?  I think there’s always different things in life that make it easier or more difficult to be patient.  I try to remind myself that there are lots of reasons students may need patience and so I do my best to treat them how I would like to be treated and also how God graciously treats me.

Have you ever been on a mission trip?  My wife and I served in China for two months just before we came here.  That was one of the challenges when we got the call here, because we also had a call to teach in two places in China.  Mission work is our passion.  We’ve also been to Latvia to work with our sister congregation 6 or 7 times. We’re working to get another trip organized for this summer.  Mission work has always been a part of my life and part of that has been because of my family.  A lot of my cousins have been missionaries or pastors serving 

How long are your summer mission trips?  Here at St. Luke’s mission trips typically last 10 – 14 days including travel.

Who is the Latvia trip open to? Anyone involved with the congregation.  For more information on our upcoming trips click HERE

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the grave of a nephew of a SLLC teacher.

Thank you Mr. Glanzer for being a messenger, teaching our kiddos, and for inspiring the next generation of church workers.

If you have a story to share or a testimony to tell, please contact

Thank you and blessings!