Father Sergei Glagolev is descended from a long line of Russian Orthodox priests and educators dating from the sixteenth century. He grew up in the religious and cultural milieu of the huge Russian immigration of the Gary and Cleveland areas in the 1920s and 1930s. His musical education began at the age of seven under the tutelage of his father, who himself was a well-known priest-composer and choirmaster. Father Sergei began directing the Pittsburgh Cathedral choir at the age of thirteen.
After World War II, Father Sergei was educated at Oberlin, Julliard, New York University, and St. Vladimirs Theological Seminary. He was choirmaster in Clifton, Lorain and Detroit. In Detroit he married Genevieve Brunarsky in 1951. In the same year he was ordained a deacon. In 1952 he was called to the Holy Priesthood. Father Sergei and Gerry have three children and four grandchildren.
The Glagolevs spent 23 years in California where they were called in 1954 to organize the first English-speaking missions. The English vernacular, the liturgical renewal, Eucharistic awakening, and the growth of the suburban missions throughout America in large part began as the "Encino Movement" as this California endeavor was called. Before returning to the East Coast in 1976, he was dean of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco and chancellor of the Diocese of the West.
After returning to the East coast, he taught at St. Vladimirs, St. Tikhons, and St. Hermans Seminaries. While teaching, he specialized in homiletics, liturgical theology and sacred music. He also became director (now Director Emeritus) of the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America. He now retains the title of Professor Emeritus of St. Tikhons Seminary, lecturer at St. Vladimirs, and Visiting Professor at St. Hermans Seminary in Kodiak.
In his active retirement, he continues to lecture and write, hoping to share in shaping the vision of the witness and mission of the Orthodox Church in America. Father Sergei is linked to the ancient Russian church by family, to the Russian Orthodox mission in America by the days of his youth, and to the aspirations of the Orthodox Church in America by his continuing endeavors.