A Longer Version of Our History
by C. Pat Lanyon …
Glory Cleaning Service began in late fall, 1986, as a janitorial service to offices in Hartford County. I was single, and doing it part-time then while working for Combustion Engineering as a Sr. Specialist Clerk, a job that began the week of November that year. It was a momentous week for 2 events I’ll share more of below.
But first it’s important to take you back to August, 1983. I had moved to Connecticut on the 26th, and soon thereafter found employment at Kimberly Hall North Nursing Home. It was then operated by the Cocomo family. Drawing upon experience while in Chattanooga attending seminary buffing floors for a janitorial service company, getting the job was the perfect fit for my first years in Connecticut. I later resigned that nursing home job without a replacement job when I became expected to set up for a happy hour serving wine at the home instituted by a new management company taking over the home. Because this was a violation of my sincerely held beliefs, I left quickly.
- Hab. 2:15 ”Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, …”
- Pro. 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
I originally came to participate in a follow-up to my June, 1980, month-long assist of “planting” Truth Baptist Church then of East Hartford, CT on June 29, 1980. You can read much more about this at my ministry website.
It was a struggle for me to quit Kimberly Hall, and for several months I worked in several assorted jobs. This experience convinced me to have more faith in my work abilities and to believe that starting a business was something I could do. During this same time I had found a young Christian businessman in West Hartford who was willing to encourage me in starting a business of my own when I was less challenged just to work for him.
He said he would allow me to work for him at half his business cost on an apartment if he could treat me as a sub-contractor, but I must began my own business and get insurance to do that. With his encouragement, on Thursday, November 6, I went to the Town of East Hartford Clerk’s office and applied for a business license, and paid the $5 fee. (See receipt illustrated above.)
Another Christian also named Patrick then at Truth Baptist was a janitor. On November 10th, I went to “Patrick’s” house asking more questions, and he too encouraged to go for it! So I was now on my 3rd job after months of job hopping, and I was getting more and more frustrated, being unable to continue to pay the bills. I began looking for significant full time employment knowing a business would initially not fully support me. On Friday I was able to get an interview for Monday, November 17 for this new position, which was accepted to begin Wednesday November 19. It was, through an employment agency, and involved work for Combustion Engineering in Windsor .
Full of thanksgiving, I went to our church’s midweek services being held in the home of the Pastor and during the praise testimony and prayer requests time announced that I was now employed full time again and also announced I was beginning ”Glory Cleaning Service.” It was named after a Bible verse that states “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the GLORY of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31).
After my second day of work on Thursday, November 20, at this new clerk-type job in Windsor for the power supply company I ran out to my Bobcat car to head home. A misty sleet began falling on the Windsor streets. As I drove down Broad Street heading toward home in a that compact car, I was spared from serious injury when a Flower Delivery van hydroplaned on the icy road directly in front of me. Thankful that evening that I had a seat-belt securely in place because I had a head on collision that rammed my head into the steering wheel. The eye glasses I had on cut a circle around my right eye on the fold! After being taken to the hospital, and receiving 24 stitches around that eye, I thankfully also had no other other serious injuries enough to remain hospitalized.
Once at home and sharing my predicament with the pastor, and realizing the deliverance experienced, I realized there was no reason not to return to work the next day. My vehicle was totaled in the accident, but a church BROTHER WORKED IN THE SAME COMPANY AND LIVED ONLY 5 OR 6 BLOCKS AWAY. Though quite humiliating to me, I returned to this 3rd day of work without bandages on my face, and I served drawings to dozens of drafting-engineers.
I realized I could have easily died the night before but God was in charge of my safety and He surely has divine protection in place for me to do what ever He wanted me to do.
Several months later after developing an advertising sheet, I solicited my office cleaning to several Windsor offices, including the insurance agent who processed my accident claim. This office hired me as a cleaning service for their office, and so did 2 or 3 others while I continued my daytime job. In a time when the company was experiencing a ‘hiring freeze’ in the spring of 1987, I was, in God’s mercy, invited to become a full Combustion engineering employee. This was providential because while it’s pay was low, it did include the generous full tiered benefits of insurance offered by the corporate giant.
In my evenings each week I began cleaning these offices.My rate in the evening was 3 or 4 times what I was making during the day! I even recall an article during those “Ronald Reagan Years” of a Stamford gasoline station sales company advertising in Indiana for workers to pump gas with their apartment supplied for a year’s contract of service. Even ‘Closers’ at McDonald’s were being offered $12/hr at the same time.
An Unsuspecting Man Finds His Wife!
Turks & Caicos Island News Makes Impact
At this time I had been corresponding for the 5th year now with a single young missionary woman serving as a Christian Teacher. She had been serving as a woman ministering to 4-5 year-olds in a nursery school begun in a Baptist Church in Providenciales. But her apartment was going to be needed for a youth Minister who was coming. The change was a provocation for me to at least invite her (I had never dated her in TN all my years in Seminary) to visit me in Connecticut in this transition. I realized the letter sounded like a proposal when I finished it, but didn’t feel she would ‘leave her field’ for a marriage proposal if outside of God’s plan for herself.
But to my surprise she asked to call after several of her trusted friends and counselors encouraged her at age 39 to do so. The calls and divine refusals for me to leave CT for a field like hers did not work for me. So soon I found myself make preparations to leave my business for a marriage and honeymoon if such an event was actually coming. Surprisingly it was all favorable for a late summer wedding, and provisions for employees were finalized by early summer.
I was able to find a college man to cover all janitorial work and gained permission to leave Combustion for the Wedding set for August 13 in Buscyrus, OH, near my fiance’s home town 30 minutes away.
The month of August, 1988 was an ecstatic fast moving sense of awe and wonder. More about my wedding has been posted at https://aprayernotebook.net/ctlanyons/how_i_was_married.htm
Our marriage came in 5’s!
- God made us court each other by mail– hand written letters for 5 years,
- and then in front of a Bible-believing church, He made us date for 5 weeks.
- Then He gave us 5 amazing receptions!
- Siam, OH, neighborhood reception at the home of Mary Wise.
- First Baptist Church (ABC), Attica, OH local church reception.
- Wayside Chapel, Buscyrus, OH (Wedding and Formal reception)
- Tritown Baptist Church, Frederick, CO (Patrick’s CO Local Church)
- Truth Baptist Church, South Windsor, CT (Patrick’s current Church)
Full time Late Fall – “8 Accounts in 8 Weeks”
After returning from Colorado and Ohio, I saw signs that I needed to leave my full time job and launch the business full-time, but I felt bad leaving Combustion after they paid an agency fee, I’m sure, to hire me. Never-the-less I had the confidence because I loved cleaning so much that I should go ahead with this after prayer. Surprisingly, however, Combustion, after my giving my 2 week notice, applauded my choice. to them I was advancing and their corporate atmosphere wholeheartedly endorsed such things. So by faith October 19, 1988 began my full-time entrepreneurial adventure with my new wife.
On that same Monday, October 19, another notable event happened we all now know on that day: A technology-generated crash of the stock market sent strong negative signals to business, but I honestly was still quite ignorant of the impact of such news. I was actually encouraged, though, because I spent the next 8 weeks canvassing for office cleaning with great success in spite of the bad business news: On the 8th week I found his 8th account which was very close to my apartment. As a young married man now, it required 4 hours of work five nights a week, and I had over 40 hours of labor to call his business truly “full time!”
I received a great variety of commercial types of tangent cleaning: janitorial offices, window, carpets residential house, construction clean-ups and vinyl floor stripping and refinishing such as was especially useful not only for my office accounts, but also salon floor maintenance. The great variety in cleaning was exhilarating to me and I became very knowledgeable in various cleaning projects.
But after some extensive experiences in the field of carpet cleaning, of all places, it was a church job that reproved me limited knowledge of the finer aspects of the art. An evangelist, hearing of my skills asked me to clean “stain resistant” carpets recently installed in his RV. Completely ignorant of this my offer was declined. A verse of the Bible was glaring me in the face squarely:
- Pro 19:27 Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
CARPET CLEANING EXPANSION – 1991
Learning, I realized, is an UNENDING pursuit in the midst of one’s vocation! My search landed me in a school in CT in early 1991. It required $150 and education for 2 days in Carpet Cleaning through a vendor of Carpet Cleaning equipment patronizing an organization then called IICUC. The International Institute of Carpet and Upholstery Certification was later changed to the IICRC. The International Institute of Carpet and Restoration Certification also calls itself the Clean Trust as an improved business name without dropping their extremely well recognized IICRC designation. [If the link breaks, we thought the interview valuable enough to copy it locally here.] The organization, itself, is quite a story of developing professionalism worth the study!
In 1991- 1992 I began attending every school I could, and 1 year of “journeyman” preparation passed in no time. By about 1993 I had gained enough credits to be classified “Master Textile Cleaner,” (required a personal recommendation and 3 full year’s experience) but I waited to get those things and instead had chosen to invest in a truck mounted cleaning system in 1994.
Since then I have found that cleaning using recognized procedures takes guesswork out of the vocation and makes you truly expert in your work. All the education came not only by IICRC schools in Vendor locations, it was also in conventions and Associations.
PRE-TRUCK-MOUNT – The Cleaning Tech, the Preparation; the Portable Extractor
I providentially was recommended to look at “the Butler System” by a fellow carpet cleaner. I found a local dealer with a used Chevrolet van manufactured in 1992, and brought it up to Ludlow, MA to get their mount installed in about 3 days. I later discovered a target engine had just been put into it!
And thus In March, 1994 we received our new mount. I had already named the business, and chose to add CARPET to our service. I also advertised the business name of GLORY in a bigger way, but more than anything, I was charged by the excitement I received cleaning with my portable machine that had a “window” in it’s wand. I designed the vinyl sign for the truck by highlighting it.
I made Butler fit the wand with the high pressure valves and hose to run it with it’s brush powered head. This was an actual part of a portable cleaning extractor manufactured by Windsor industries. The portable truly gave them recognition for the thorough way that it cleaned carpet. So fitting the 100psi wand for the new 1000 psi truck system was important, and we found, an easy adaptation!
It greatly enhanced our ability to clean offices & living spaces in the Greater Hartford area. It was recognized as integral to my company for most of our CT business life until 2012. After 18 years of strong dependable service to us, our first truck was retired.
At the start of a big church cleaning job our 1994 truck’s 2nd engine gave up the ghost when the crankshaft sheared off. We were forced to invest in a new preowned van and combined equipment of the old with some new and began service with our 2012 version.
August 2012 Brings Increases the Equipment Quality
Over the years, we have continually upgraded our equipment to clean carpets and upholstery using the standards produced by the IICRC. Our latest truck is also from the Butler Corporation.
As our two sons grew up, they learned the business and certified with us and now we all clean as a family. David & Joseph do the lion’s share, and we still love cleaning offices as a family on our die-hard loyal offices, but the thrill of clean has not left our family run business.
30 Year Anniversary of “FULL-TIME” Business Is On October 19, 2017.