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Unka Glen isn’t your average religious relative

This avuncular man of God has turned Tumblr into his own bully pulpit.


Jordan Valinsky

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 25, 2011   Updated on Jun 3, 2021, 1:56 am CDT

Jesus isn’t on Tumblr—at least as far as we can tell—however, another avuncular man of God is and he’s making waves: meet Glen Fitzjerrell. His fans know him simply as Unka Glen.

Fitzjerrell uses his Tumblr blog, “Citadel of Enlightenment,” as his bully pulpit. No topic is off limits here, as the chaplain offers guidance from porn to peace with a Christian point of view. The name Unka Glen derives from his three young cousins mispronouncing the word “uncle.”

Growing frustrated with the lack of progress his book pitches were receiving, Fitzjerrell turned to Tumblr because of the blogging platform’s “Ask” feature, which lets readers submit questions and in turn open a new way of communication.

“So here was a chance to be irreverent, cheeky, bold and authentic in a way that would be unthinkable with the usual publishing environment,” Fitzjerrell wrote in an email to the Daily Dot.

He credits his work at Mission:USA, a nondenominational ministry helping ex-convicts and gang members to rehabilitate their lives, for his candid style.

“I’d developed a certain plain-spoken no-nonsense way of relating all this spiritual stuff to them, and I felt that approach would have a larger appeal. And that certainly turned out to be true,” said Fitzjerrell.

Since starting the blog last January, he has more than 1,300 followers on Tumblr and averages about six new followers a day, according to his estimates. He receives between 25 and 30 messages a week, many of which of he takes time to answer privately but posts a few of them publicly. Fitzjerrell’s blog has a Dot Score of 59 and Liked Influence score of 61.

The feedback he receives from some of his followers surprises him, like these messages from two different female followers.

This gal wrote in, ‘Hey Unka Glen! Your blog is amazeballs. I’ve been recommending it to my friends in church. The way God speaks through you blows my mind.’ and this note, from this very sweet and demure Christian gal, ‘You are the coolest person ever oh my goodness holy stinkin’ balls’.

“When Christian gals are writing this kind of stuff in, one certainly gets the sense that one has tapped into something. I’m not sure what exactly, but it’s something,” he said.

While that something might not be identifiable, what is clear that Tumblr is an ideal outlet to offer advice.

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*First Published: Oct 25, 2011, 3:16 pm CDT