Glen Lavy: Faith in Action

Glen Lavy: Faith in Action

Glen LavyBBC alumnus Glen Lavy is currently serving as senior counsel and vice-president of Legal Strategies and Funding with Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian organization that works to advance religious freedom, values, and the sanctity of human life.

He is responsible for leading a marriage litigation team opposing same-sex marriage and defending marriage and values in dozens of Alliance Defense Fund cases.

A 1986 graduate, Glen attended Harvard Law School after leaving BBC. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, running, reading, and hiking. He also teaches a Sunday school class for young married couples. He lives with his wife and their three children in Scottsdale, AZ.

What brought you to BBC as a student?
An expectation that God was calling me into vocational ministry

What program were you in?
Initially it was General Missions, but later Pastoral Ministries. I think I began with missions because I was afraid to get up in front of people and speak. Once God took that fear away, I switched to the Pastoral Ministries program.

What led you to consider law school?
I knew God was calling me to service, but I didn't have a clear sense what it would be. Because I am a carpenter by trade (a former member of the Carpenters Union), I assumed God would want me to use my construction skills for ministry. But soon after beginning college, I discovered that God had given me a good mind and that I had lots of other options.

In large part as a result of Dr. Rembert Carter's teaching about the founding fathers' purpose for America, I developed a concern about what was happening to our country. So I thought God might want me in a pastoral ministry in America. But after doing an internship in my home church between my junior and senior years, I concluded God probably hadn't designed me for pastoral ministry, and I began looking at other options. During that time, I read a book by a Christian attorney who challenged Christians to get involved in law and politics. I began praying about the possibility of law school and was amazed by all the encouragement I received to try it.

How did you know Harvard was the right path for you?
I never would have considered applying to Harvard if it hadn't been for a couple of professors with whom I often ran, Don Trott and Dr. Alan O'Dell. One day when we were running, Dr. O'Dell asked where I would attend law school if I went. I mentioned several Midwestern law schools, and then he gave me the advice that made the difference: "Go to the school with the most prestige. You don't need it, but whomever you work for can use it." I responded that the school with the most prestige was Harvard, and that I couldn't get in there (for non-academic reasons). He said it was his understanding that admission was based solely on academics. I told him if that was true and I went to law school, I would go to Harvard. Harvard is the only place I applied because I believed that if God wanted me to serve Him in law, He would want me to have good credentials.

What is the Alliance Defending Freedom?
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

Why did you become involved there?
Because the mission of ADF is fully aligned with why I went to law school, to impact the legal system for Christ.

What work have you been doing?
For several years I headed our defense of the traditional family through litigating cases where homosexual advocacy groups were trying to redefine marriage and family. I now lead our allied attorney program, which involves coordinating the pro bono work of our more than 1,300 allied attorneys. I also oversee our grants and funding program, through which we provide funding for allied attorneys and organizations that litigate in the areas of religious liberty, sanctity of life, and traditional family values.

What response have you had to your work?
It depends on the views of the people responding: hatred and even threats from the left; bitter criticism from those who think we should be more harsh towards those who oppose us; lots of appreciation from those who support the idea of using the law to defend religious liberty, sanctity of life, and traditional family values.

What do you hope to accomplish?
To keep the doors open for the spread of the Gospel and to transform the legal system for Christ. We cannot accomplish the transformation society needs through the law, but it is helpful to have the freedom to preach the gospel. The only way the great awakening our world desperately needs can happen is if the Gospel is preached and peoples' lives are transformed. We at ADF are working to preserve that freedom.

Where do you see your future in ministry?
I am working to build a great alliance of attorneys who will dedicate their lives and legal skills to Christ.

Contact Information

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers outstanding Christian higher education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to think biblically, grow spiritually, and serve faithfully as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to

Posted on: 11/20/2014 3:56:49 PM

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