2021 Annual Conference: Recap, Clergy Appointments, AC Videos, Worship Service Videos

Bishop R. Lawson Bryan

Bishop Robert 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.


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 children, John Phillip and Caroline Cooper “Cece,” reside in Alabama.


Bishop Bryan is passionate about people owning their identities as being “alive together in Christ," from Ephesians 2:5. 


Click here for a detailed biography

Born: June 13, 1950 in Quincy, Florida 
Raised in Dothan, AL
Graduated from Dothan High School, 1968
Bachelor of Science, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, cum laude
Master of Divinity, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, cum laude
Doctor of Ministry, Emory University, Atlanta, GA


1975—Associate Pastor, Trinity UMC, Opelika, AL
1976—Pastor, Hiland Park UMC, Panama City, FL
1980—Pastor, Dexter Avenue UMC, Montgomery, AL
1986—Pastor, First UMC, Brewton, AL
1990—Pastor, Ashland Place UMC, Mobile, AL
1997—Pastor, First UMC, Dothan, AL
2007— Senior Pastor, First UMC, Montgomery, AL
2016— Elected Bishop
2016— Assigned to the South Georgia Annual Conference

Other Involvement:

Alabama-West Florida Conference Leadership
Chaired Alabama-West Florida Conference Council on Ministries, 1996-98
Served as board chair, Academy for Congregational Excellence, 2011-2016
Dothan District Committee on Ministry, Chair, 2000-2006
Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Ministry, 1980-88; 2000-2012
Huntingdon College Board of Trustees, 2001-present
Chaired Board of Ordained Ministry, Alabama West-Florida Conference, 2007-2009
Participant and Leader in Three-year Covenant Community for Spiritual Growth
Developed partnership between First United Methodist Church Montgomery and Huntingdon College to provide intern program
Organized and hosted annual Pan-Methodist Pentecost Service

Southeastern Jurisdiction Leadership
Chaired Southeastern Jurisdiction Larger Church Consultation, 2001-2002

General Church Leadership
General Conference delegate in 2012 and 2016
Chaired Financial Administration Sub-committee at General Conference 2016

Local Church and Community Leadership
Leadership Mobile, Class of 1992
Chaired the Alzheimer’s Association “Walk to Remember,” 2000-2001
Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2002-2005
Member of Downtown Rotary Club of Montgomery, 2007-present
Chaired Believe It! Montgomery, community partnership for public schools
Author of Pursuing Science, Finding Faith
Member of the Committee of 100 – Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Member of Leadership Alabama
Teaching Parish Supervisor – Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Chaired the Visioning Team for Adult Respite Ministry of First UMC Montgomery

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