BISHOP R. Lawson Bryant will preach from the pulpit at Whigham United Methodist Church on Sunday.
As the fourth and final event of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of Whigham United Methodist Church, the congregation will welcome Bishop R. Lawson Bryant as the guest preacher for the 11 a.m. worship service this Sunday, Oct. 27.
In addition to Bishop Bryant’s message, the message in song will be performed by Brett Batey, Morgan Griffin and Barry Strickland. A history of the church will be shared by Jet Cox and a lunch will be served to all in attendance immediately following the morning worship service.
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan serves as episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Elected bishop July 14, 2016, at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference’s quadrennial meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C., he began serving as South Georgia’s resident bishop on Sept. 1, 2016. He previously served as senior pastor of Montgomery First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., in the Alabama West-Florida Conference.
This is a “homecoming,” in a sense, for Bishop Bryan. Born just across the Georgia-Florida border in Quincy, Fla., Bishop Bryan spent his early years in Bainbridge, Ga., before moving to Dothan, Ala., at 12 years old. Bishop Bryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University and a doctorate in ministry from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He is married to Sherrill, and their son Philip and daughter-in-law Brittany, along with their two grandchildren, John Phillip and Caroline Cooper “Cece,” reside in Alabama.
Bishop Bryan is passionate about people owning their identities as being “alive together in Christ.” This theme of “Alive Together in Christ” is taken from Ephesians 2:5. Earlier in that letter Paul declared that God’s hidden purpose is to unite all things in heaven and on earth in Jesus Christ (1:9-10). “We cannot ask others to do that which God has uniquely equipped us to do,” Bishop Bryan says, reminding Christians of one way to live in that passion. “It is in our DNA as United Methodists to bring people together so they can experience what it means to be alive together in Christ.”
An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church for more than 42 years, Bishop Bryan began his pastoral ministry as an associate pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Opelika, Ala. He served as pastor for Hiland Park United Methodist Church in Panama City, Fla.; for Dexter Avenue United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala.; for First United Methodist Church in Brewton, Ala.; and for Ashland Place United Methodist Church in Mobile, Ala. He was senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Dothan, Ala.; and First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala. Bishop Bryan has served actively in the Church and in his community, including leading the Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Ministry, serving on the Board of Trustees for Huntingdon College, serving as a General Conference delegate, and organizing and hosting an annual Pan-Methodist Pentecost Service in Montgomery. He also serves on the General Commission on Religion and Race.
This will conclude the church’s year-long celebration of its founding. The celebration began with a special event focusing on history and art, which was followed by a John Wesley supper and sing. The third event in the celebration series was a gospel sing.