Rise in Glory: E.S. Gleason

Adapted from Forward Movement

The Rev. Edward S. Gleason, editor and director of Forward Movement from 1995 to 2005, died October 31.

Known to many Forward Movement readers by his initials, E.S.G., Gleason led Forward Movement into the early days of the digital transformation. He was author of Redeeming Marriage (1988), Dying We Live (1990), The Future that Is Easter (1999), and The Prayer-given Life (2007), and numerous issues of Forward Day by Day.

During his tenure, he committed to being in touch with readers, authors and supporters, writing at least 26 letters each day with the help of his wife, Anne.

Gleason developed a particularly close relationship with Bo Cox, one of Forward Movement’s most beloved authors. Gleason visited Cox in prison, and the two shared a decades-long friendship. Gleason wrote the foreword to a soon-to-be published collection of Cox’s work, I Will With God’s Help, and Cox has dedicated the book to his friend and mentor.

Before his ministry at Forward Movement, Gleason was director of development and a member of the faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary, headmaster of Noble and Greenough School in Massachusetts, and school minister of The Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He also served congregations as a rector and curate. The Gleasons were married for 58 years and spent the last several years living in Washington, D.C. They have three grown daughters and seven grandchildren. A memorial service will be held later this year.

“Forward Movement’s strong position in the church today is a credit to Ted’s vision and leadership,” said the Rev. Scott Gunn, Forward Movement’s current executive director.

“On a personal note, I will miss Ted’s humor, encouragement, and wisdom.”

Gleason wrote in the prologue of another of his books, New Life: “Life is driven by renewal, the persistent energy of rebirth that makes all things new. Pain and loss and death are inevitable, but each and every time they happen, there will be new life. Death happens, but it is never the final answer.

“Everything that begins ends, and every ending contains the promise of a new beginning.”

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